beneath /bɪˈniːθ/


I. preposition

1. extending or directly underneath

a 2.5-mile tunnel beneath the Alps.
2. underneath so as to be hidden, covered, or protected

the ancient city has lain hidden beneath the sea for 2,000 years.
3. at a lower level or layer than

beneath this floor there’s a cellar
her eyes had dark shadows beneath them.
4. lower in grade or rank than

he was relegated to the rank beneath theirs.
5. considered of lower status or worth than

she’s in love with a man who is rather beneath her.
6. behind (a physical surface)

they found another layer beneath the stucco.
7. hidden behind (an appearance)

beneath the gloss of success was a tragic private life.
II. adverb

1. extending or directly underneath something

a house built on stilts to allow air to circulate beneath.
2. at a lower level or layer

upper layers can be removed to reveal internal parts beneath.
3. hidden behind an appearance

the smile revealed the evil beneath.
– origin Old English binithan, bineothan, from bi (see by) + nithan, neothan ‘below’, of Germanic origin; related to nether.

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