undercurrent

noun

un·​der·​cur·​rent ˈən-dər-ˌkər-ənt How to pronounce undercurrent (audio)
-ˌkə-rənt
1
: a current below the upper currents or surface
2
: a hidden opinion, feeling, or tendency often contrary to the one publicly shown
undercurrent adjective

Examples of undercurrent in a Sentence

You could be pulled under water by the dangerous undercurrents.
Recent Examples on the Web However, negative undercurrents are building that will upend those rosy hopes. John S. Tobey, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 The Healing History of Baths In antiquity, the link between bathing and health usually carried a religious undercurrent. Jack Knudson, Discover Magazine, 26 Mar. 2024 The white-sand beaches and crystal-blue waters along the coast are inviting, but some beaches have strong undercurrents and rip tides without the safety of lifeguards or even warnings about unsafe conditions, the embassy said. Chris Eberhart, Fox News, 1 Mar. 2024 Amid the warm feelings at the Huntington Park holiday parade, there was an undercurrent of discord. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 27 Feb. 2024 Squiggly synths and guitars coat the undercurrent of the fizzy song, which belies the vulnerability in her lyrics about finding the courage to move past a relationship gone kaput and excavate her inner strength. USA TODAY, 19 Mar. 2024 Outside of the region, the stories provide readers with an intriguing contrast between the external image of these societies as utopian in terms of happiness, equality, and living standards, and the darker undercurrents that the genre often freely explores. David Nikel, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Almost immediately, undercurrents of colonialism and imposed mysticism elevate Villeneuve’s central performances in ways the first movie could only suggest. Joshua Rothkopf, Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2024 That skepticism, an undercurrent in many of my early conversations with people who have ties to the island, was at least partially warranted. Rebecca Panovka, Harper's Magazine, 9 Feb. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of undercurrent was in 1683

Dictionary Entries Near undercurrent

Cite this Entry

“Undercurrent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undercurrent. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

undercurrent

noun
un·​der·​cur·​rent -ˌkər-ənt How to pronounce undercurrent (audio)
-ˌkə-rənt
1
: a current below the upper currents or surface
undercurrents of water
2
: a hidden current of opinion or feeling often different from the one openly shown

More from Merriam-Webster on undercurrent

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