subterranean

adjective
sub·​ter·​ra·​nean | \ ˌsəb-tə-ˈrā-nē-ən How to pronounce subterranean (audio) , -nyən \
variants: or less commonly subterraneous \ ˌsəb-​tə-​ˈrā-​nē-​əs How to pronounce subterranean (audio) , -​nyəs \

Definition of subterranean

1 : being, lying, or operating under the surface of the earth
2 : existing or working in secret : hidden a subterranean network of criminals

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Other Words from subterranean

subterraneanly or less commonly subterraneously adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for subterranean

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Go Underground With Subterranean

A tunnel is a subterranean road or pathway, and a subway is a subterranean railway. The subterranean vaults at Fort Knox hold billions of dollars of gold reserves. Subterranean reservoirs called aquifers are tapped for water; in places where the pressure on the subterranean water is great enough, a hole drilled in the ground will bring it bubbling to the surface.

Examples of subterranean in a Sentence

a subterranean bunker that supposedly could withstand even an atomic blast
Recent Examples on the Web New residents placed their possessions in trash bags for 20 minutes in the subterranean garage to ward off bed bugs and staff constructed cabinets and ripped the packing off new mattresses. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, "How the pandemic led to a rare success in California’s effort to house the homeless," 1 Jan. 2021 Trees appear to communicate and cooperate through subterranean networks of fungi. New York Times, "The 12.6.20 Issue," 1 Dec. 2020 Dozens of subterranean passages led off in different directions from the bottom of the 15-foot-deep hole. Washington Post, "What’s in a name? Well, for Snakeden Branch, it means ‘Here be snakes.’," 12 Dec. 2020 Swimming in a fervedouro feels a bit like floating in a pool of champagne, as water from a subterranean river gurgles up from a rupture in the earth, pushing up a froth of fine pink sand. Jamie Ditaranto, Travel, "The paradise in Brazil you don’t know—yet," 10 Dec. 2020 The subterranean explosions prompted conservation managers to carry out a daring plan. New York Times, "Archaeologists Could Help Bring Otters Back From the Dead," 3 Dec. 2020 Pethiygoda suggests to Mongabay India that subterranean fish may have an advantage when disasters like the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs come around. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Subterranean Fish Named ‘Gollum’ Belongs to a New Family," 23 Oct. 2020 The subterranean challenge of stopping drug trafficking and human smuggling is on daily display here. Kevin Sieff, Anchorage Daily News, "Under the U.S.-Mexico border, miles of tunnels worth millions of dollars to traffickers," 13 Oct. 2020 The subterranean challenge of stopping drug trafficking and human smuggling is on daily display here. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, "Under the U.S.-Mexico border, miles of tunnels worth millions of dollars — to traffickers," 13 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subterranean.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of subterranean

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for subterranean

Latin subterraneus, from sub- + terra earth — more at thirst

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Time Traveler for subterranean

Time Traveler

The first known use of subterranean was in 1603

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Statistics for subterranean

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Subterranean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subterranean. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for subterranean

subterranean

adjective
How to pronounce subterranean (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of subterranean

formal
: located or living under the surface of the ground
: existing or working in secret

subterranean

adjective
sub·​ter·​ra·​nean | \ ˌsəb-tə-ˈrā-nē-ən How to pronounce subterranean (audio) , -nyən \

Kids Definition of subterranean

: being, lying, or operating under the surface of the earth a subterranean lake

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Comments on subterranean

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