Definition of underground in English:



  • 1Beneath the surface of the ground.

    ‘miners working underground’
    • ‘Rescue operations can be lengthy and often members spend hours underground and on the surface in cold and wet conditions.’
    • ‘Most of the shops are either above ground or just four storeys underground.’
    • ‘And unlike Boston or Washington, the tracks can be 50, 100 feet underground.’
    • ‘Normal, everyday potholes are just cracks in the surface, but in this case an underground tunnel is shifting - and the problem can reach many feet underground.’
    • ‘Roots might have a hard time to expand properly with clay grounds, looking for and digging in for nutrients underground.’
    • ‘However, these pipes could easily be buried underground and where they come to the surface they could be lagged so as to prevent freezing.’
    • ‘The water then collects underground to emerge at various spots in the Maligne Canyon some 20 km away, another 425 metre descent.’
    • ‘The building is designed to retain as much heat as possible in winter and a pump extracts energy from ground water, some 120 metres underground, which helps to heat the atrium.’
    • ‘I looked around the fascinating light rail station there - hundreds of feet underground - then had a cup of split pea soup at the Zoo cafe.’
    • ‘The groundwater table for our drinking water supply is 180 metres underground and is dropping by one meter every year due to our unsustainable consumption.’
    • ‘The damaged section of the Metro tunnel, nearly 30 metres underground, was sealed off by huge reinforced concrete walls.’
    • ‘Geothermal heating and cooling take advantage of the temperature of the earth's surface, which becomes constant just a few feet underground.’
    • ‘After nearly an hour underground we returned to the surface, back to normality.’
    • ‘A big issue was to reduce our energy usage and by living underground we could do this,’ said Mr Reddy.’
    • ‘It's not often one is 300 feet underground!’
    • ‘At least there are vending machines underground.’
    • ‘It develops its root system for about ten years underground before it surfaces.’
    • ‘The tunnelling will take place so deep underground that nobody will hear it on the surface.’
    • ‘A total of 240 parking spaces are planned for the hotel, but the biggest site will be New Street which will have 566 spaces underground.’
    • ‘The tunnels will be bored from the Seymour site with a computer-guided boring machine that will tunnel through bedrock up to 200 metres underground.’
    below ground, below the surface, under the earth, in the earth
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    1. 1.1In or into secrecy or hiding, especially as a result of carrying out subversive political activities.
      ‘many were forced to go underground by the government’
      • ‘The state, like much of the nation as a whole, had a long history of underground industrial activity, especially in times of civil and military conflict.’
      • ‘Harsh persecution pushed many underground and into rural hideaways.’
      • ‘The government pushed the scene back underground, the only way we are all gonna move this forward is if we come together and come strong.’
      • ‘Natural disasters can be a threat to the growing expansion of big cities underground.’
      • ‘You know, just in case I might really need to go underground some day.’
      • ‘Not only would this drive its members and sympathisers underground, it would have a major impact on the organisation's ability to raise funds.’
      • ‘In such settings, workers are less likely to seek health services and are more likely to conduct their services underground.’
      • ‘The first lift carries visitors underground to what is called the world's biggest salmon stream.’
      • ‘Once we decided to go underground we had to find money and food and the means to carry out the actions.’
      into hiding, into secrecy, into seclusion, undercover, behind closed doors, out of sight
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  • 1Situated beneath the surface of the ground.

    ‘underground parking garages’
    • ‘Suddenly, with a terrific roar that shook the ground, the underground tank beneath the gas pumps exploded.’
    • ‘There's an underground car park beneath the building I work in.’
    • ‘We parked in the underground garage at 30th Street, which is located where several west-side tracks were previously removed.’
    • ‘It's proposed to extend the existing car park and to provide underground car parking beneath the rear of the cinema.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most fascinating part of Warsaw was what lies beneath: the underground tunnels that connect the Warsaw metro stations.’
    • ‘When asked was he concerned about a gas pipeline, he replied: ‘Because it is underground it did not concern us.’’
    • ‘There is free surface car parking as well as an underground car park.’
    • ‘While the city has since lost much of its lustre, our rubber-wheeled underground public transportation system remains something still worth showing off.’
    • ‘Instead, Derick noted as he looked down, small tracks of underground root-like stems ran along the earth beneath their feet.’
    • ‘‘I have a question for you’, begged a student in information technology who guided us round the old underground salt mines outside the city.’
    • ‘The development has been constructed around several landscaped courtyards and features both underground and surface car parking.’
    • ‘Centres are characterised by large, modern underground shopping malls, which lack diversity because small businesses have little chance to compete with the multinationals.’
    • ‘More than 100 years after Londoners got the Tube and Parisians a Metro, Dubliners are set to get their own underground public transport system.’
    • ‘An amazing labyrinth of underground tunnels that lie beneath the surface of Liverpool's Edge Hill district has been intriguing the city's population for generations.’
    • ‘The grounds will incorporate a courtyard and underground car parking facilities.’
    • ‘The platform, which will be located on the south side of the station, will allow passengers to enter the platform without having to use the underground subway beneath the other three platforms.’
    • ‘The apartments will all have decked balconies with glass balustrades, ash veneer doors throughout and surface and underground car parking facilities.’
    • ‘The flood waters got into a small part of the basement area of the hotel and also to an underground car park.’
    • ‘They claim to have concerns that such a mass influx of people into wildlife areas will disrupt animal mating, damage flora and poison underground freshwater sources.’
    • ‘It has been reveal that plans for an underground bus park, beneath the current bingo hall, is one of the options currently in the melting pot.’
    subterranean, subterrestrial, below ground, buried, sunken, lower-level, basement
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    1. 1.1Relating to the secret activities of people working to subvert an established order.
      ‘Czech underground literature’
      • ‘An underground group of renegade democrats are attempting to establish a free election to determine the fate of their country.’
      • ‘He has slept in six different houses in six nights as he adjusts to life as an underground political figure.’
      • ‘He had been involved with underground Marxist publications during the thirties.’
      • ‘She became active in the underground socialist movement in her mid-teens while she was at high school.’
      • ‘Men usually contact other men, who then contract someone engaged in other underground activities and who may lend money at weekly interest rates.’
      • ‘They've learnt to band together in secret underground groups, occasionally breaking out to form pressure groups demanding action against prejudice and misguided legislation.’
      • ‘You're lying, they were told - wasn't he a part of some secret underground resistance cell?’
      • ‘You must be willing to be part of this secret underground movement.’
      • ‘In early 1861, underground resistance and open defiance were rampant in that state.’
      • ‘The reality is that, before decriminalisation, most of the activity was underground, outside the law, and not counted.’
      • ‘One day, I noticed some of my classmates were nowhere to be seen, and it was said that they were taken away by secret police for underground political activities.’
      • ‘He even argued with anarchist friends for the establishment of an underground organisation to continue illegal anti-war propaganda once conflict broke out.’
      • ‘She was a young 21-year-old underground activist working for the Polish resistance movement and acted as a runner/messenger.’
      • ‘The French retaliated by forming an underground resistance movement.’
      • ‘Today, imprisoned underground activists continue to write of this subjugated history from the cells that hold them.’
      • ‘He became an underground activist when he was a 20 year old student.’
      • ‘She also discovers the existence of a subversive underground nationalist organization.’
      • ‘If the worst happens, I'll start an underground blogging movement with secret servers in people's attics.’
      • ‘I had read in the reports that there was a resistance movement, an underground resistance movement.’
      • ‘The police state that they have no yet found the person responsible for this act, but it is suspected to be related to a secret underground society.’
      clandestine, secret, surreptitious, covert, undercover, private, confidential, closet, hole-and-corner, cloak-and-dagger, hugger-mugger, back-alley, backstair, stealthy, conspiratorial, concealed, hidden, shrouded
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    2. 1.2Of or denoting a group or movement seeking to explore alternative forms of lifestyle or artistic expression; radical and experimental.
      ‘the New York underground art scene’
      • ‘‘When we go across these two great countries, we notice that there is a huge underground scene for streetpunk,’ McKinnon says.’
      • ‘Their latest album is one of the most captivating albums around and has created a buzz in the underground music scene.’
      • ‘Within the hip-hop community he is unmatched in the amount of authority and respect he commands among both industry heads and underground artists.’
      • ‘Waters managed to get his films screened in New York, where they soon became mandatory viewing for those in the underground art scene.’
      • ‘Matthew has vivid memories of one of his first underground experiences.’
      • ‘A boy, a young boy, lost and directionless, finds refuge and comfort in art, in underground movies.’
      • ‘In a similar spirit, you might not expect to find an impressive repository of underground art and comics in a place that most city folks would consider the middle of nowhere.’
      • ‘There was a renewed interest in underground art.’
      • ‘Overall, this disc is so much fun and evokes so much emotion and includes so much talent and thought, it is a must have indie release for fans of newer radio rock and the underground scene alike.’
      • ‘Breakdancing, since its conception in the early seventies in New York has been largely ignored by the media but is thriving as a subculture sport and underground art form.’
      • ‘As an underground lifestyle person, the opinions are interesting.’
      • ‘He writes about the alternative music scene for an underground magazine, and hangs out with the likes of rappers and punk bands.’
      • ‘Certainly, one of the most immediate and popular art forms where underground culture has influenced the mainstream is music and dance.’
      • ‘Like a record company or an underground art movement, they launched a street team.’
      • ‘Representing the young generation of photographers she presented her documentation of the underground art world.’
      • ‘The campaign's first round of ads were subtle, and looked more like they were introducing a new band or an underground art project than a health message.’
      • ‘The subject matter, style and revolutionary nature of the underground art scene of the 60's would forever change the media of the future generations.’
      • ‘We wanted to seek out all the leaders in the underground scene to do reggae and Latin music.’
      • ‘VJ art is the rapidly growing underground arts movement where artists manipulate video in the same way DJs mix records.’
      • ‘Having been involved in underground music and arts scenes, I came into the game late.’
      alternative, radical, revolutionary, unconventional, unorthodox, avant-garde, experimental, innovative, groundbreaking, pioneering, novel
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  • 1A group or movement organized secretly to work against an existing regime.

    ‘I got involved with the French underground’
    • ‘In the repressions following 1905, the underground was demoralized by defeat and ideological wrangling.’
    • ‘She got involved in the socialist underground, producing leaflets and intervening in strikes.’
    • ‘Breaking into high-speed networks to make it easier to share illicit content online is a fairly common trick among members of the computer underground.’
    • ‘I know a few people, members of the underground who may be able to help a little, but no one in that class.’
    • ‘Activists are aiming to build on the general feeling over the issue to get support across the underground for the dispute.’
    • ‘The solidarity of the underground was deeper than the fear of secret police my countrymen shared.’
    resistance movement, resistance, illegal opposition
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    1. 1.1A group or movement seeking to explore alternative forms of lifestyle or artistic expression.
      ‘the late-sixties underground’
      • ‘There is a world of information being shared digitally however in the latest revolutionary attempt by the artistic and literary underground.’
      • ‘The California underground has long been a breeding ground for forward-thinking hip-hop.’
      • ‘The Japanese underground is usually associated with manic, off the wall hardcore.’
      • ‘While it didn't show up in any Billboard charts, the story of 2002's rock and dance undergrounds was the resurgence of post-punk.’
      • ‘The mad collision of cultures and styles found in these tracks represents the alternative underground's resistance to that conservatism.’
  • 2British A subway, especially the one in London.

    ‘travel chaos on the Underground’
    • ‘There's been a call for women-only carriages on London's Underground.’
    • ‘The Undergrounds were packed like canned sardines.’
    • ‘In Camden Town, I'll meet you by the Underground.’
    • ‘I then got the Underground and the train to Westcliff.’
    underground railway, metro
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