un·​der·​cur·​rent | \ ˈən-dər-ˌkər-ənt How to pronounce undercurrent (audio) , -ˌkə-rənt\

Definition of undercurrent

1 : a current below the upper currents or surface
2 : a hidden opinion, feeling, or tendency often contrary to the one publicly shown

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Other Words from undercurrent

undercurrent adjective

Examples of undercurrent in a Sentence

You could be pulled under water by the dangerous undercurrents.

Recent Examples on the Web

Who’s most electable against Trump is a thick undercurrent in the Democratic primary. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "How to watch – and what to watch for – in first Dem debate," 14 June 2019 Officiating was still a big undercurrent in the aftermath of a missed tripping call in Game 5 that led to St. Louis’ game-winning goal. Curtis Zupke, latimes.com, "Blues look to close out Stanley Cup Final with Game 6 win over Bruins," 9 June 2019 Moments like the Charlottesville rally reveal the depth and breadth of rightist undercurrents. Adam Tooze, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy and Its Discontents," 6 June 2019 Yet the possibility that Trump colluded with the Russians or engaged in other criminal behavior has become a constant undercurrent in Democratic politics. Steve Peoples, The Seattle Times, "Mueller findings flip Trump debate in 2020 campaign," 25 Mar. 2019 As Claire knows all too well, friends, neighbors and countrymen are unwittingly marching towards Revolution, with members of the elite ruling classes struggling to stifle the alarming undercurrent of unrest triggered by the Regulator Movement. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan Are Officially Producing on Outlander Season 5," 16 Apr. 2019 But this evening in Milan, designer Donatella Versace conjured up the punk undercurrents that run through the Italian fashion house, paying homage to that gold safety pin embellished gown from the Spring 1994 collection. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The Glamorous Way to Go Grunge, Straight From the Versace Runway," 22 Feb. 2019 But nothing managed to remove the unsettling undercurrent that runs through my life. Deanna Debara, Glamour, "Anxiety Can Be a Good Thing—Here’s How I Make Mine Work for Me," 6 Dec. 2018 Newsom's tactics are among the many undercurrents that could determine the outcome of the primary by swaying the 39% of California's likely voters who were undecided in this statewide poll, conducted over one month. Seema Mehta, latimes.com, "New poll finds a volatile race for second place in California governor's contest," 22 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'undercurrent.' 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 undercurrent

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for undercurrent

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for undercurrent

The first known use of undercurrent was in 1683

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More Definitions for undercurrent



English Language Learners Definition of undercurrent

: a flow of water that moves below the surface of the ocean or a river
: a hidden feeling or tendency that is usually different from the one that is easy to see or understand


un·​der·​cur·​rent | \ ˈən-dər-ˌkər-ənt How to pronounce undercurrent (audio) \

Kids Definition of undercurrent

1 : a flow of water that moves below the surface
2 : a hidden feeling or tendency often different from the one openly shown She sensed an undercurrent of dissatisfaction.

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More from Merriam-Webster on undercurrent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with undercurrent

Spanish Central: Translation of undercurrent

Nglish: Translation of undercurrent for Spanish Speakers

Comments on undercurrent

What made you want to look up undercurrent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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