subterranean

adjective

sub·​ter·​ra·​nean ˌsəb-tə-ˈrā-nē-ən How to pronounce subterranean (audio)
-nyən
variants or less commonly subterraneous
1
: being, lying, or operating under the surface of the earth
2
: existing or working in secret : hidden
a subterranean network of criminals
subterraneanly adverb
or less commonly subterraneously

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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 Despite being almost entirely subterranean, the living and dining rooms are lit by a circular skylight and a wall of windows. Eleanor Nash, Kansas City Star, 9 July 2024 The subterranean, cigar lounge-style Bascule will be the finishing touch of the hotel’s trifecta. Lane Nieset, Travel + Leisure, 8 July 2024 The hefty price tag is also reflected in the lengthy list of amenities: a pool pavilion with a bar and a movie theater, plus a subterranean tunnel that connects two holes of the adjacent Bel Air Country Club golf course, just for starters. Wendy Bowman, Robb Report, 27 June 2024 Elsewhere are a library, a gym, and two subterranean levels with development potential. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 26 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for subterranean 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'subterranean.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of subterranean was in 1603

Dictionary Entries Near subterranean

Cite this Entry

“Subterranean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subterranean. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

subterranean

adjective
sub·​ter·​ra·​nean ˌsəb-tə-ˈrā-nē-ən How to pronounce subterranean (audio)
-nyən
1
: being, lying, or operating under the surface of the earth
2
: existing or working in secret : hidden

More from Merriam-Webster on subterranean

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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