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 Even among front-of-house employees who are on board with the changes, there’s an undercurrent of concern, Lopez said. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 June 2021 There’s a story for every interest group and time period, often with a trademark flying saucer and an undercurrent of distrust in authority. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2021 His music sweeps the listener up into the undercurrent of a seemingly hopeless situation. Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, 2 June 2021 And notably, on both apps, even the sad, embarrassing, and awkward videos and memes carry an undercurrent of comfort, joy, and hope. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, 1 June 2021 The muted response from Iran’s regional antagonists may mask a strong undercurrent of pessimism and behind-the-scenes pushback against the Americans’ decision. New York Times, 19 Feb. 2021 The smiles that greet them are a little too eager; there’s an undercurrent of ugliness and menace. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 11 May 2021 Running through everything is the undercurrent of obfuscation and betrayal. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Apr. 2021 There was an undercurrent of glee in the cavernous room. John Gurda, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 31 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for undercurrent

Time Traveler

The first known use of undercurrent was in 1683

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Statistics for undercurrent

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Undercurrent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undercurrent. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on undercurrent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for undercurrent

Nglish: Translation of undercurrent for Spanish Speakers


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