Definition of beneath in English:

beneath

preposition

  • 1Extending or directly underneath:

    ‘a 2.5-mile tunnel beneath the Alps’
    • ‘Woodlands are also an important source of arable soils that lie beneath the tree cover.’
    • ‘I have always thought that these were earth generated lights as a fault line runs directly beneath these light formations.’
    • ‘High contact pressures cause the feet to penetrate through the loose material and actually compact the soil directly beneath the foot tip.’
    • ‘The round house was found directly beneath the low-lying site during survey work for the showroom which will sell Harley Davidson motorbikes.’
    • ‘Directly beneath your feet the subway thunders and its vibration travels through your body.’
    • ‘If magma were to accumulate at mid-crustal levels beneath the north Taupo region, this has significant implications for hazard monitoring.’
    • ‘It was all chaos and smoke after a car or truck bomb exploded directly beneath the window where I had once slept.’
    • ‘In the Beysehir region, kilometre-sized blocks of fusulinid-bearing Permian limestone occur directly beneath the ophiolite.’
    • ‘Hurrying down from the wall, he made his way through the ranks of defenders to the catacombs the lay beneath the fortress.’
    • ‘There's really nothing out there to refer to on flying birds, save one photo he took from directly beneath a bird leaving its nest cavity.’
    • ‘Rather, odds are that there were no tunnels beneath the preschool and that what was found was an old trash pit, nothing more.’
    • ‘I walked directly beneath the waterfall and placed my hands against the stone, letting the water beat at my aching muscles.’
    • ‘Our data consistently indicate that the magmas accumulated and ponded at shallow levels beneath the volcano.’
    • ‘This was entered by clambering into the dark beneath the slabbed floor of the modern church, torchlight striking the features of the long-neglected chapel.’
    • ‘Apparently the juiciest grass of all was directly beneath our bedroom window.’
    • ‘The quake, which registered 8.9 on the Richter scale, was eerily localized directly beneath Fenway Park, the home of the Red Sox.’
    • ‘High moisture levels beneath a flooring installation can lead to cupping, bulging, or swelling of many flooring materials.’
    • ‘He heard a small rustling as the earth shifted directly beneath him.’
    • ‘An office tower, the highest part of the house, yields views of the lower levels stretching out beneath it.’
    • ‘But I can drill down into non-contiguous deposits next to his and they become my property even if they extend beneath his land.’
    1. 1.1 Underneath so as to be hidden, covered, or protected:
      ‘the ancient city has lain hidden beneath the sea for 2,000 years’
      • ‘Emma turned around and took out her own hidden gun from beneath one of the many layers of dress she wore.’
      • ‘Cheryl rolled to her left to avoid another crashing of the wooden club, her saber now drawn from its hidden place beneath her cloak.’
      • ‘She lay back beneath the covers, pulling them up to her chin.’
      • ‘The pair specialise in finding live bodies trapped beneath rubble, but their searches in the ruins were fruitless.’
      • ‘In excellent condition, the painting lies protected beneath a UV-blocking Plexiglas frame.’
      • ‘Over eons these sediments became buried beneath layers of mud and ash caused by forest fires, more volcanic eruptions, rains and upheavals.’
      • ‘Running his fingers idly over the smooth varnish, he noted the beautiful grain of the wood beneath its thick protective cover.’
      • ‘Most coastal settlements by early Americans now lie deep beneath the sea, which during the Ice Age was hundreds of feet lower than now.’
      • ‘Left by a passing glacier, the boulders acted as umbrellas to the softer rock beneath, protecting it from pluvial erosion.’
      • ‘Even in a drought year the champ yields a bumper crop of bitter fruits: About six acorns per square foot cover the ground beneath its canopy.’
      • ‘It was buried beneath a layer of dead leaves and twigs.’
      • ‘Half the world's ocean-going cargo follows shipping lanes past the islands, and rich deposits of oil and natural gas are thought to lie beneath the nearby sea.’
      • ‘But, for about a half hour in the morning and afternoon, the sun is low in the sky and beneath the cloud cover.’
      • ‘As the interview continues in a nearby shop the man returns with friends who stand threateningly outside with weapons barely hidden beneath their jackets.’
      • ‘In winter the family would have to dress beneath the bed covers, such was the cold, and frost would make intriguing fan shapes on the windows.’
      • ‘She shifted beneath the covers trying to get comfortable.’
      • ‘Buried beneath a mountain of covers, Renae lay shivering in her bed.’
      • ‘There was a hidden rock beneath the sea, but it was capable of being discovered by the Authority.’
      • ‘It lay deep beneath the sea know as the Great Ocean.’
      • ‘Camille clutched her hands together beneath the covers.’
      under, underneath, below, at the foot of, at the bottom of
      View synonyms
  • 2At a lower level or layer than:

    ‘beneath this floor there's a cellar’
    ‘her eyes had dark shadows beneath them’
    • ‘Once the end fitting had been lowered beneath the level of the gutter by the crane, the tension was taken up again by the cable attached to the reel and the crane disconnected.’
    • ‘There were dark shadows beneath my eyes, the result of too many late nights, plus a combination of illicit drugs and alcohol.’
    • ‘The ground level beneath this is enclosed by series of pyramidal glazed skylights that allow daylight to filter through the main foyer.’
    • ‘The summary beneath the map is worth reading for an overview.’
    • ‘The uppermost level above the false floor and beneath the parcel shelf is large enough to carry most everyday objects.’
    • ‘After doing so, she dried her hair, brushed her teeth, and put on the barest amount of makeup, to cover the circles forming beneath her eyes.’
    • ‘There's an extra layer of underfloor storage beneath the boot floor, and the rear window can be opened separately from the tailgate.’
    • ‘The deck directly beneath the command room was entirely devoted to the largest Denivanian briefing room in existence.’
    • ‘He had a rather bristly mustache beneath his nose, and walked with the deliberation of a turtle.’
    • ‘There are two layers beneath the garden, a white space and, below that, a darkened second space that traces out the footprints of the fallen towers.’
    • ‘The other bedrooms are located on the other side of the lower level beneath the master bedroom quarters.’
    • ‘Suddenly, one of the horses stumbled, sending the rider crashing through fallen corn stalks and into a hidden pit beneath.’
    • ‘Her eyes held dark shadows beneath them, and her shoulders stooped with exhaustion.’
    • ‘He did look awful; the shadows beneath his eyes were even darker this morning in contrast to the pallor of his face.’
    • ‘He had been standing at eaves level, beneath a beamed roof on temporary boarding, which was resting on joists.’
    • ‘The other prisoners often screamed in their sleep, so he was rarely able to doze off, and dark shadows lay beneath his empty eyes.’
    • ‘Springsteen was on the cover, beneath the banner headline ‘Reborn in the USA’.’
    • ‘She looked as if she had been crying because her cheeks were red and puffy and her eyes looked red-rimmed with dark shadows beneath them.’
    • ‘The bandit stopped directly beneath the tree, and looked around.’
    • ‘Even beneath the thick cover of the canopy, they could not escape the rain that rolled, gathering drops together, to fall to the ground below.’
    1. 2.1 Lower in grade or rank than:
      ‘he was relegated to the rank beneath theirs’
      • ‘Total bonus paid to staff beneath the grade of senior civil service in the year 2004-05, was £1204719.’
      • ‘He says the problem doesn't just apply to Scotland, and that its effects can already be seen in the ranks of players beneath the top 16.’
      • ‘Of course, there were more than ten admirals serving at one time on most occasions, but all those beneath the rank of rear admiral of the blue had commands that were officially ad hoc.’
      • ‘It's clear Belinda thinks Tess is beneath her rank.’
      • ‘He was cruel to his men, and to officers beneath his rank.’
      • ‘He was now possibly the most powerful man in France beneath the king.’
      • ‘This took place between 1990 and 1992 and I was there as a minister – one of the ranks beneath that of ambassador.’
      • ‘Henry VII brought into fashion the concept of the aristocracy; men beneath the king who could court favor.’
      • ‘Beneath the king was an aristocracy of nobles who had a limited amount of power.’
      • ‘To me, when it comes to black actors, Morgan Freeman ranks second, beneath Sidney Poitier.’
      • ‘Despite the mounting strife in the ranks beneath them, both men got along surprisingly well as co-COOs.’
      • ‘The degree of that title would depend upon the titles available to the family -- it would not necessarily be the degree immediately beneath the rank of Duke.’
      • ‘In his experience most nobles considered it beneath them to help those of lesser rank.’
      • ‘You have, for in stance, the military manner, which consists in well-squared shoulders, a well-belted waist, a regulation spine, an angular elbow, a click of the keels, a salute that is meant to be at once fascinating and haughty, and a pronounced contempt for everything civilian beneath the grade of a Privy Councilor or a First Secretary.’
      • ‘And mages were like the kings of magic by the sounds of it, worshipped by the people who ranked beneath them.’
      • ‘It does remind people that the President has intelligent people working directly beneath him.’
      • ‘All persons beneath the rank of knight, the order read, were forbidden to gamble for money.’
      • ‘Pushing down those already beneath you in the ranks is simply a waste of effort.’
      • ‘But she is beneath him in fortune and in rank, and pride forbids him to court her.’
      • ‘Salford never owed obedience to a superior beneath the rank of an earl and since Henry of Lancaster became King Henry 1V, the King of England has continuously been the Lord of Salford.’
      low-ranking, lower-ranking, subordinate, sub-, lesser, lower, minor, secondary, inferior
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Considered of lower status or worth than:
      ‘she's in love with a man who is rather beneath her’
      • ‘Indeed Foxhunting didn't start until about the 1830's as most hunts believed it to be beneath their status to hunt ‘vermin’.’
      • ‘To enter the job market, many accept lowpaying jobs they would consider beneath them at home.’
      • ‘He says that he has never considered any job to be beneath him, accepting every assignment that came his way.’
      • ‘But our Kwasi considered himself a cook and nothing else, and these other tasks were rather beneath his dignity.’
      • ‘It was started by men who often consider women as beneath them in status.’
      • ‘His main point seems to be that older workers should be willing to take jobs they now consider beneath them.’
      • ‘Clearly, he feels that many of his duties are beneath him and he chooses to associate with members of his own social class.’
      • ‘Underload is defined as where people are employed in jobs which are beneath their capacities.’
      • ‘Yes, the process will be overly long, demeaning, and beneath our status as both the hyperpower and the injured party.’
      • ‘To him, the price was not worth suffering the indignities of a job he felt was beneath him.’
      • ‘Unlike many other parts of the world, these men would often prefer unemployment to taking a job they consider beneath them.’
      • ‘He is unsuitable because he told the press that the offer and job description of the CEO was beneath him.’
      • ‘One example is in isolating a person or making him do demeaning tasks well beneath his abilities.’
      • ‘This includes doing the job that you may feel is beneath you.’
      • ‘And… and I never thought they were worth anything, that humans were beneath me.’
      • ‘It proposed to effectively place the disabled in a legal status beneath normal people by denying them access to court to get services promised in the legislation.’
      • ‘Yet despite his claim that man ranks beneath the beasts, the artist may have recoiled from depicting a creature whose lower half is human but whose upper half is animal.’
      • ‘Or, at the least, blue-collar workers who liked their jobs were beneath him.’
      • ‘He suggests in the book that although he has suffered from myocardial infarction, his abilities would be not be beneath those of his competitors in any mayoral race.’
      • ‘He is even more out of sorts than usual, because he considers having to read for a part in a minor theatrical production beneath his dignity.’
      unworthy of, unbefitting for, inappropriate for, unbecoming to, undignified for, degrading to, below
      inferior to, not so important as, lower in status than, lower than, below
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3 Behind (a physical surface):
      ‘they found another layer beneath the stucco’
      • ‘When paint peels, it is a symptom of problems beneath the paint film.’
      • ‘An old photo of the pub shows 16th century brickwork beneath the stucco.’
      • ‘Beneath the paint it was discovered that the bones of the single preserved front paddle were also set in plaster.’
      • ‘The subject of vapor barriers or retarders beneath concrete slabs on grade has long been controversial.’
      • ‘Only the right mix of white spirit was required to obliterate the top layer and reveal the hidden work of art beneath.’
      • ‘There's still a nice little blue Ford under all that dust, grime and beneath the layers of squashed insects.’
      • ‘He stretched his arms yawning exposing his fangs for a brief second before they vanished beneath his lips.’
      • ‘This was important as the clay lies directly beneath the gold leaf and its colour influences the final appearance of the gold.’
      • ‘However, twice the significance is given to corrosion in the surface area beneath the protective coating.’
      • ‘The nanowires grew beneath the gold nanoparticles, which serve as catalysts.’
      • ‘To make the repaired area waterproof, you need to remove some of the existing stucco to expose the tar paper beneath the stucco.’
      • ‘Experts restored a 50-year-old mural found beneath layers of paint.’
      • ‘A lost masterpiece, buried beneath three decades worth of white emulsion, is to be revealed in time, it is intended, for next year's Edinburgh festival.’
      • ‘Beneath the paint, architectural elements may be of different dates, including repairs and alterations, without any visible evidence for the change.’
      • ‘These conditions could cause rusting of the steel beneath the paint finish, which will cause the paint to flake off.’
      • ‘During its operation as a function centre, night spot and disco, it has been looked after cosmetically, but beneath the surface expensive restoration work is necessary.’
      • ‘A major piece of the hall's history has been rescued, as experts were called in to restore a 50-year-old mural found buried beneath layers of paint.’
      • ‘In other cases a little of the lead white ground beneath the surface layers of paint has been displaced, and the result is to produce a black dot under X-ray photography.’
      • ‘Their bone structure contains a lot of spikes buried beneath their skin.’
      • ‘The lumps will certainly show up beneath the wallpaper.’
    4. 2.4 Hidden behind (an appearance):
      ‘beneath the gloss of success was a tragic private life’
      • ‘He could see the torment hiding beneath the colonel’s calm exterior.’
      • ‘Deep down, beneath his rather cheerful exterior, resides an indomitable spirit.’
      • ‘Violence remains a potential threat beneath the appearance of feminine softness and the protestations of peace and benevolence.’
      • ‘But what lurks beneath the surface, beneath the nerdy glasses and throwback hairstyles of this unlikely pair of modern American film icons?’
      • ‘The same restlessness beneath an appearance of happiness, which Nick notices in Tom, he sees in Daisy as well.’
      • ‘The interesting thing is that beneath this brazen and rather crude exterior he is a quite a sensitive soul isn't he?’
      • ‘Is she hiding her grief beneath her calm exterior or could she really be happier living alone!’
      • ‘Beneath his rugged exterior there was a loving heart.’
      • ‘Far from being meek, mild and modest, librarians hide beneath their demure appearance hot and passionate personalities.’
      • ‘Beneath his charming smile and humble personality is a fierce dedication to continually push himself beyond his boundaries, taking daring, challenging and diverse roles.’
      • ‘Beneath his charming surface, however, lies a soul damaged by loss.’
      • ‘Her ability to depict the sensual energy she perceives beneath the appearance of a familiar world gives her work its strength and its strangeness.’
      • ‘To see a flash of life beneath the hidden person, masquerading on the exterior.’
      • ‘In practice, emotion is usually hidden beneath a veneer of rationality, as in the use of coded language.’
      • ‘The wizard's power was strong beneath the youthful appearance.’
      • ‘Beneath his rugged Scotch character he had the heart of a woman.’
      • ‘Beneath her calm veneer we begin to see something much darker, much more passionate and dangerous.’
      • ‘And with the coffee I am treated to a combative side of him I had suspected lurked beneath his benign surface but never thought to witness.’
      • ‘The glimpses of its shadows that have already been revealed so far hint at something rich and strange beneath the appearances.’
      • ‘The camera loves the luminous actress, whose elfish eyes and Titian hair evoke the spark beneath her calm exterior.’

adverb

  • 1Extending or directly underneath something:

    ‘a house built on stilts to allow air to circulate beneath’
    • ‘The brick pillars (pilae) supported the floor of the bathhouse and allowed the hot air to circulate beneath.’
    • ‘Place bulky objects, which must be in the hood, on blocks to allow air to flow beneath.’
    • ‘They will keep the hay off of the ground and allow air to circulate beneath.’
    • ‘Arrange gourds in a single layer, preferably on wooden slats that allow air to circulate beneath.’
    • ‘Alsop likes buildings on stilts, that start a long way up in the air and allow landscape to flow beneath.’
    underneath, below, further down, lower down, in a lower place
    View synonyms
  • 2At a lower level or layer:

    ‘upper layers can be removed to reveal internal parts beneath’
    • ‘The mountain received enough rain and frost in recent weeks that the dirt is wet, he explained while kicking away a layer of leaves to expose the earth beneath.’
    • ‘The top layer of the fabric is slit, exposing the layer beneath or allowing a small piece of colored cloth to be inserted.’
    • ‘With each shovel of dirt lifted up to expose the layer beneath, he's found the markers leading the way to understanding who he was, who he became and who he is meant to be.’
    • ‘The boards are mounted to the chassis by stacks of threaded board standoffs, each successive layer of which must be removed to reach the layer beneath.’
    • ‘Next, cut the shape of a cross in the landscape fabric at each marked planting location and fold the internal corners of the cross under to expose the earth beneath.’
    • ‘They may be obtained in an isolated state by macerating the leaf and peeling off the cuticle so as to expose the layer beneath which is then easily separated into its components.’
    • ‘The warming of the oceans from beneath has caused the depths of the ice caps to decrease, allowing more sunlight to reach the ocean beneath.’
    • ‘The top condition is taken off, exposing the one beneath.’
    • ‘Towards evening it became possible to stop; not simply physically, but actually and not feel it a waste of time; to think it worthwhile to pick out a vantage and from it watch the land beneath change under the passing clouds.’
    • ‘Using the white brush tool I could paint away that layer exposing the layer beneath.’
    • ‘I carry her to the window, and we sit down on the shady balcony to watch the people beneath and the little group of beggars around the church door opposite.’
    • ‘Crustaceous materials such as pavement often must be ripped and removed to expose the earth beneath and permit its excavation.’
    • ‘In the wild trees some times lose part of their bark on the trunk or branches for whatever reason exposing the layer beneath.’
    • ‘It does not allow the outside cold to to reach the water beneath.’
    • ‘Sometimes they strolled in the garden, where winter had peeled the leaves from the bare shrubbery, exposing the earth beneath, swollen with rain.’
    1. 2.1 Hidden behind an appearance:
      ‘the smile revealed the evil beneath’
      • ‘He gives us these familiar, stiff-upper-lip, middle-class characters and then peels away the layers to reveal the pain beneath.’
      • ‘I thought he captured the 'wooden' exterior very well, but also the kindness beneath.’
      • ‘The threat has not ended, as she has to repair the damage done by pulling the earth back together and forever trapping the evil beneath.’
      • ‘I saw the kindness beneath.’
      • ‘Fergus shuddered, for although the Lad was young and firm-fleshed, the smile revealed the evil beneath.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

beneath

/bɪˈniːθ/