Definition of subterranean in English:



  • 1Existing, occurring, or done under the earth's surface.

    • ‘I've fallen into a dingy subterranean bar called KGB, lured by the initials and the sign outside depicting a froth-capped beer glass.’
    • ‘Still, somewhere beneath your feet is a subterranean passage that obligingly ran from this all male seminary to the next door convent of Nazarene nuns.’
    • ‘Swimming in the clear, fresh, subterranean water was sublime.’
    • ‘In addition to the Paveletsky project, Moscow's shoppers will have a handful of other subterranean malls to choose from over the coming years.’
    • ‘Even after all that, there is still a vast reservoir of subterranean water inside the earth.’
    • ‘A large mechanical platform is lowered into the subterranean depths of Purgato.’
    • ‘Scrooges who detest Christmas are being offered the chance to avoid this year's festive season - by hiding in a subterranean nuclear bunker.’
    • ‘The stuffiness was a result of subterranean humidity.’
    • ‘At one end of the square stands the town's main mosque, at the other the Church of the Nativity, in which a subterranean grotto marks the place of Christ's birth.’
    • ‘This three-dimensional complex of surface closed depressions, subterranean conduits, caves, and springs is known as karst terrain.’
    • ‘Firstly, if you happen to run an extensive subterranean mass transit system, you should familiarise yourself with the topology of the network.’
    • ‘These drainages envelop the ephemeral wet surfaces and subterranean systems that rarely hold a diverse molluscan fauna.’
    • ‘Pity about the subterranean exhibition space.’
    • ‘Venturing deep below the ice, the explorers soon realise to their horror that the subterranean structure is in fact a sacrificial chamber, home to the dreaded aliens.’
    • ‘Players get to run around the building's maze of corridors, explore its subterranean passageways and take to its roof with a sniper rifle.’
    • ‘Here the source for the volcanoes, an extensive wall of subterranean mud provides a near surface source.’
    • ‘It is both a museum and a memorial to the thousands who experienced torture under two different totalitarian regimes in the subterranean cells.’
    • ‘Pumping out the water is not a long-term solution, and the project's ultimate aim is to channel the subterranean water away once and for all.’
    • ‘After driving in, breaking all previously known records, I parked in this grim subterranean car park, at astronomical hourly rates.’
    • ‘German homeowners and gardeners who attempt to destroy an ant hill or subterranean nest will be subject to hefty fines if caught.’
    of hell, hellish, lower, nether, underworld
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    1. 1.1 Secret; concealed.
      ‘the subterranean world of the behind-the-scenes television powerbrokers’
      • ‘Most of them are about the experience of girls and women, about the exercise of power and its abuse, and about subterranean aspects of human relationships.’
      • ‘In other words, this tradition suggests a subterranean relationship between pleasure and austerity.’
      • ‘Credulous undergraduates fall prey to priestly performers who claim to be initiating them into the subterranean mysteries.’
      • ‘It is in this subterranean atmosphere that language appears.’
      • ‘Expertly juggling pathos and humour, Baumbach has created a queasy tug-of-war between surface civility and subterranean resentment.’
      subterrestrial, below ground, buried, sunken, lower-level, basement
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Early 17th century: from Latin subterraneus (from sub- ‘below’ + terra ‘earth’) + -an.