un·​der·​neath | \ ˌən-dər-ˈnēth How to pronounce underneath (audio) \

Definition of underneath

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : directly beneath write the date underneath the address
b : close under especially so as to be hidden treachery lying underneath a mask of friendliness wore a swimsuit underneath his slacks
2 : under subjection to



Definition of underneath (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : under or below an object or a surface : beneath
2 : on the lower side

Other Words from underneath


underneath adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for underneath

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of underneath in a Sentence

Preposition He hid the envelope underneath his coat. She slipped a note underneath the door. The ball rolled underneath the car. He lives in the apartment underneath mine. There was gum stuck underneath the table. Underneath her calm exterior was a nervous woman with a hot temper. They actually had a lot in common underneath their obvious differences. Adverb He wore a white sweater with a red shirt underneath. She lifted up the rock and found ants crawling underneath. The car had rust underneath. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Requests for applications went out Monday for painters or other visual artists to complete a mural in the tunnel of the trail underneath 116th Street. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 27 June 2022 The Lightning’s 563 horsepower comes from a pair of electric motors mounted underneath the truck, between each set of wheels. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 27 June 2022 There are also six self-inflating lifeboats located underneath the main deck. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 27 June 2022 Pleating details underneath the bust add visual interest to what is otherwise a simple (yet stunning) look. Abby Dupes, Seventeen, 24 June 2022 Shorter options like those from Aisle and Knix work well underneath other pants, while Modibodi and Tomboyx have longer pairs that are suitable on their own. Sarah Madaus, SELF, 23 June 2022 Prior to this event, the rocks underneath Siberia were rich in coal, oil and gas. Chris Mays, Scientific American, 23 June 2022 Germany’s largest storage chamber for natural gas stretches underneath a swath of farmland the size of nine soccer fields in the western part of the country. New York Times, 23 June 2022 The project also includes 1,487 parking spaces, housed both underneath the new buildings and in a standalone parking garage. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb If not — and be honest — use a non-tinted mineral sunscreen underneath, just to be safe. Megan Decker, refinery29.com, 14 June 2022 Again, heel height is a major factor with most of these Y2K boots, thanks to platforms and platforms underneath. Andrea Navarro, Glamour, 13 June 2022 For the event, the star paired a sleeveless top tied at the waist with a maxi skirt featuring a hip-high slit and a matching mini-length layer underneath, as well as nude heeled sandals with metallic silver ankle straps. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 12 June 2022 The cars themselves came from a wide range of decades including the 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s, plus a car with a body from the 1950s but lots of newer parts underneath. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 10 June 2022 Hikerkind’s dress and established that their Econyl bra top offered the right amount of lightweight support underneath. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, 9 June 2022 Distraught passengers and bystanders at a nearby café rushed to lift the carriage off people stuck underneath, according to a surveillance video released by police. Chris Kenning, USA TODAY, 9 June 2022 But underneath, her long, wavy black braid trails behind her, which would be no less glamorous were it allowed to fly free. Inkoo Kang, Washington Post, 8 June 2022 Vileforte screamed as Isaiah’s opponent wiggled underneath, desperately trying to get out of a submission. Roman Stubbs, Anchorage Daily News, 8 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underneath.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of underneath


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for underneath


Middle English undernethe, preposition & adverb, from Old English underneothan, from under + neothan below — more at beneath

Learn More About underneath

Time Traveler for underneath

Time Traveler

The first known use of underneath was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near underneath



underneath it all

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for underneath

Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Underneath.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underneath. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for underneath


un·​der·​neath | \ ˌən-dər-ˈnēth How to pronounce underneath (audio) \

Kids Definition of underneath

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: directly under We wore our bathing suits underneath our clothes.



Kids Definition of underneath (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : below a surface or object : beneath She lifted the log and found ants crawling underneath.
2 : on the lower side The pot was scorched underneath.

More from Merriam-Webster on underneath

Nglish: Translation of underneath for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of underneath for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!