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

The fight for credit has been a recurring and unseemly undercurrent in Berea. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland.com, "Freddie Kitchens turns the Bob Wylie conversation, intent on avoiding the muck of the past: Doug Lesmerises," 5 Aug. 2019 Also, the hippo’s symbolic connotations are particular—marrying laziness, fatness, hunger, and cuteness with an undercurrent of danger. Sophie Haigney, The New Yorker, "Should There Be an Emoji for Everything?," 22 July 2019 Bourbon creates a subtle undercurrent of sweetness in the exquisite chicken liver pâté. Fortune, "Review: Patience Is a Virtue Well-Rewarded at this New Orleans Hotel Bar," 14 July 2019 The series is about the socio-economical, gender, political, racial issues that are wrapped up in sneakers and that undercurrent. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Exclusive: Reebok Collabs With Jazerai Allen-Lord For Club C Sneaker," 28 Aug. 2019 My hope is that the finale will be strong enough to make the themes and emotional undercurrent of season three work as well in retrospect as the pure plot mechanics are working right now. Emily Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Handmaid’s Tale puts the pieces in place for its finale," 7 Aug. 2019 But the pianist was uninterested in pyrotechnical display for its own sake, instead consistently probing the meanings and undercurrents of this music. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "CSO review: Bronfman and Ax take on Brahms Piano Concertos," 3 Aug. 2019 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

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

18 Sep 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.

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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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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