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

Often, there was an undercurrent of humor in these juxtapositions. Allan Kozinn, BostonGlobe.com, "Michael Colgrass, composer who transcended genres, dies at 87," 10 July 2019 This crucial element was an undercurrent to Van Halen. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "131 Totally Uncensored Minutes with David Lee Roth, From His New Tattoo Skincare Line to the Secret of Van Halen," 11 Dec. 2018 The racial undercurrents of the league adds another layer of sensitivity: most of the players are black, and an overwhelming majority of team owners are white — Michael Jordan is the lone black majority owner. Sean Gregory/oakland, Time, "The NBA Finals Shoving Incident Reopens Wounds," 7 June 2019 The undercurrents of homophobia, sometimes obvious but often subtle, persist in film today. Dan Kopf, Quartzy, "Before We Knew Better: Transphobia was at the very center of Ace Ventura," 31 May 2019 The undercurrents of contemporary American society that Roth channeled now wash over us daily. James Panero, WSJ, "Where’s the Mercy in ‘Social Justice’?," 23 Jan. 2019 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

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

7 Aug 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

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a usually brief trip or an expedition

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