underwater

adjective
un·​der·​wa·​ter | \ ˌən-dər-ˈwȯ-tər, -ˈwä-\

Definition of underwater

1 : lying, growing, worn, performed, or operating below the surface of the water underwater plants
2 : being below the waterline of a ship
3a : having, relating to, or being a mortgage loan for which more is owed than the property securing the loan is worth
b : having, relating to, or being a stock option for which the price of the option is higher than the current market value of the stock

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Other Words from underwater

underwater adverb

Synonyms for underwater

Synonyms

aquatic, submarine, submerged, sunken

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Examples of underwater in a Sentence

underwater plants don't require as much light to grow as surface plants a vessel designed for underwater exploration

Recent Examples on the Web

The ship sank further underwater, nixing Norway's attempt at a salvage operation. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Underwater Footage from Helge Ingstad—Norway’s Newest Submarine," 19 Dec. 2018 With coastal real estate facing such a significant threat, the current administration’s climate-change denial is a costly stance to take, a line in the sand that will soon be underwater, regardless of what Trump and others believe. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Climate change and the coming coastal real estate crash," 16 Oct. 2018 The current doesn’t reach far underwater, instead attracting fish up to it. kansascity, "There's something lurking in Lee's Summit lakes: tons of walleye | The Kansas City Star," 12 Apr. 2018 This dissatisfaction wasn’t isolated to the coasts either: Trump was deep underwater with suburban voters across the Midwest, where Republicans lost crucial Senate, governor, and House races. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The suburbs abandoned Republicans in 2018, and they might not be coming back.," 26 Dec. 2018 The Norwegian Navy warship that ran aground last week after a collision is almost completely underwater and may not see active duty ever again. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "That Wrecked Norwegian Frigate Is Pretty Much Toast," 13 Nov. 2018 There are already parts some North Carolina towns which are seven feet underwater. Fox News, "FEMA chief Brock Long on Hurricane Florence recovery efforts; Will allegation affect Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation?," 16 Sep. 2018 The worry, the long combat deployments, the husband underwater and half a world away, went unmentioned. P.j. O'rourke, Town & Country, "Roberta McCain, the Woman Who Shaped Senator John McCain," 29 Aug. 2018 Today, revenue from cars far outweighs motorcycles, but profit from the inexpensive bikes is bailing out Honda’s car business, some of which is literally underwater. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Motorcycles Are Helping Honda Get a Handle on Tariffs," 31 July 2018

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

1627, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for underwater

The first known use of underwater was in 1627

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More Definitions for underwater

underwater

adjective

Financial Definition of underwater

What It Is

In the real estate world, underwater means that a property is worth less than what is owed on it.

How It Works

For example, let's say John Doe buys a house for $500,000. He makes a down payment on the house and borrows $400,000 to pay for the rest. Two years later, John loses his job and has to sell the house and move. However, the housing market has slipped in his town, and the house is only worth $300,000 right now. John owes $395,000 on the loan. He is underwater.

Even if he sells the house for $300,000, he would pay off only $300,000 of the loan and would still owe $95,000. Accordingly, if John were to sell the house for $300,000, he would need the bank to agree to write off the remaining $95,000. Thus, if John finds a buyer at $300,000, his lender would need to approve the sale and could even halt the sale if it believes that the house can be sold for more than $300,000. Every dollar below $395,000 is money lost to the lender.

Why It Matters

If a homeowner has to move right away, underwater mortgages can lead to short sales, which can be long and arduous. This is primarily because extra lenders are involved, and the bureaucracy of approving and processing a sale can scare off potential buyers who want to close on a house purchase quickly. However, buyers (that is, people who might want to buy John Doe's $300,000 house, in our example) can often get good deals on homes that have underwater mortgages, because lenders do not want to be in the business of owning real estate, want to be repaid as quickly as possible, and in our case, would rather have $300,000 than foreclose on the house.

Source: Investing Answers

underwater

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of underwater

: located, used, done, or happening below the surface of water

underwater

adjective
un·​der·​wa·​ter | \ ˈən-dər-ˈwȯ-tər, -ˈwä-\

Kids Definition of underwater

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: lying, growing, worn, performed, or operating below the surface of the water an underwater cave underwater somersaults

underwater

adverb
un·​der·​wa·​ter | \ ˌən-dər-ˈwȯ-tər, -ˈwä-\

Kids Definition of underwater (Entry 2 of 2)

: under the surface of the water I like to swim underwater.

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underwater

adjective
un·​der·​wa·​ter

Legal Definition of underwater

1 : owing more on a mortgage loan than the property securing the loan is worth underwater homeowners
2 : being or relating to a mortgage loan in which more is owed than the property securing the loan is worth underwater mortgages underwater properties

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