Definition of underneath in US English:


preposition & adverb

  • 1Situated directly below (something else)

    as preposition ‘our bedroom is right underneath theirs’
    as adverb ‘his eyes were red-rimmed with black bags underneath’
    as adjective ‘on longer hair, the underneath layers can be permed to give extra body’
    • ‘My eyes were clamped shut while pushing the piece of paper underneath the door.’
    • ‘As she picked up the rose, she noticed a piece of paper underneath it.’
    • ‘Bits and pieces of glass flew across the floor and the picture slid underneath her bed.’
    • ‘It was a picture of her and Jordan, when they first kissed underneath the mistletoe.’
    • ‘They walked on a red carpet and stood underneath a romantic canopy for pictures.’
    • ‘He sighed, and pulled a picture out from underneath his mattress, handing it to me.’
    • ‘Most laminate flooring requires a separate layer underneath it.’
    • ‘A girl wearing thick sunglasses with her hair tucked underneath a black hat pushed her way through the crowd.’
    • ‘She was no longer hiding underneath her black hair and had showed her true colors during the auditions.’
    • ‘Sitting up, Adrian gazed into the photograph once again, staring at the picture of his wife and he underneath the tree.’
    • ‘He fetched a garbage bag from underneath the sink and, without entering the bedroom, handed it to her.’
    • ‘She said there was a thick layer of dust underneath her bed and a cleaner had made a sarcastic comment to her.’
    • ‘I flip through the pages, fanning them out underneath the tip of my thumb.’
    • ‘She keeps shoving pictures of him underneath my nose and talking about him all the time.’
    • ‘Eagerly opening to the first page, she tucked her legs underneath her and began to read.’
    • ‘She got down to pick it up, and saw a folded up piece of paper underneath there, so she fished it out, and read it.’
    • ‘When he went home he started digging in the dirt basement directly underneath the bedroom wall.’
    • ‘She yanked the picture out from underneath the things she had collected over the years.’
    • ‘Inside were a few pieces of paper underneath an ancient looking gun.’
    • ‘All carry-on pieces, including laptops, must fit either underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin.’
    beneath, below, underneath, at the bottom of, at the foot of
    down, downward, lower, below, underneath, beneath
    View synonyms
  • 2So as to be concealed by (something else)

    as preposition ‘money changed hands underneath the table’
    figurative ‘underneath his aloof air, Nicky was a warm and open young man’
    as adverb ‘paint was peeling off in flakes to reveal grayish plaster underneath’
    • ‘I heard Joseph laughing and kicked him from underneath the table.’
    • ‘Or at least I would have if Ian hadn't kicked me underneath the table.’
    • ‘I asked weakly, clutching onto Katashi's arm underneath the table.’
    • ‘Before leaving she kicked Sakari in the leg underneath the table.’
    • ‘‘Well, I don't think she'll be hiding underneath the pool table,’ jokes Kiko weakly.’
    • ‘A silken blue cloth covered the old wooden table underneath.’
    • ‘Mrs Webb said, ‘We used to pass notes underneath the table and that sort of thing, but when we left school we went our own ways.’’
    • ‘Fiona gave Justin a hard kick in the shin underneath the table.’
    • ‘When the maid took the picture home, she found a piece of paper hidden underneath the matting.’
    • ‘Jordan was holding Allie's hand tightly underneath the table.’
    • ‘He put layers of color one on top of another, concealing and revealing the colors underneath, making the process of covering transparent.’
    1. 2.1 Partly or wholly concealed by (a garment)
      as preposition ‘she could easily see the broadness of his shoulders underneath a tailored white shirt’
      as adverb ‘I wear button-downs, and my T-shirts show underneath’
      • ‘She was in cameo shorts and a white tank top, underneath her top her bra's outline was visible.’
      • ‘His overshirt hung from his shoulders, underneath a broad white bandage bound tightly around his torso.’
      • ‘He had a dark jacket on with several layers of clothing underneath.’
      • ‘I watched her thin shoulders heave underneath the thin white fabric of her shirt.’
      • ‘I was on the swim team and I had my bathing suit on (I skipped after school practice) so I stripped down to the black one piece I had on underneath.’
      • ‘A dark leather jacket hung loosely off a pair of wide shoulders, underneath a semi formal attire, just missing a tie and coat.’


  • The part or side of something facing toward the ground; the underside.

    • ‘I searched every nook and cranny in the kitchen and larder, and examined the underneaths of tables and chairs in case Harry or Dolly had taken a liking to it as a rolly-toy.’
    • ‘Mr Fisher, who had been taking pictures of the floods, saw the boat hit the underneath of the bridge and said it appeared to lose an aerial and part of its radar equipment.’
    • ‘I felt his smooth, warm fingertips graze the underneath of my chin and gently lift it so he could see my eyes.’
    • ‘The underneath of the car was covered in a coating of cloggy clay, so cleaning them afterwards wasn't much fun!’
    • ‘They were leaving the car park at about 8.30 pm when they spotted a man trying to attract their attention, pointing to the underneath of the front of the car.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the failure of the third drive shaft caused significant damage to the underneath of the car and the team withdrew the Nissan from the race.’
    • ‘I got curious and pulled myself to the edge of the underneath of the bed.’
    • ‘I reached down and pulled my binder up from the metal rungs on the underneath of my chair that held books.’
    • ‘I flew beside him, taking giant strides so as not to fall, until we came upon the Jeep, from the underneath of which Johnny's feet poked out.’
    • ‘The clouds were highlighted with sunbeams; the tops bright gold, the underneath dark grey in shadow.’
    • ‘If you need someone to come and rebuild the underneath of your house, again, he's the guy do it.’
    • ‘An eyewitness reported seeing the craft hit the underneath of the bridge and lose radar and aerial equipment.’
    underside, lower side, undersurface, undercarriage, underpart, belly, underbelly
    View synonyms


Old English underneothan; compare with beneath.