Undercurrent vs Under - What's the difference?

undercurrent | under |

Undercurrent is a derived term of under.

As a noun undercurrent

is a current which flows under the surface.

As a preposition under is

in or at a lower level than.

As a adverb under is

in a way lower or less than.

As a adjective under is

being lower; being beneath something.




(en noun)
  • a current which flows under the surface
  • (Totten)
  • (figuratively) A tendency of feeling or opinion that is concealed rather than exposed.
  • * George Eliot
  • All the while there was a busy undercurrent in her.
  • :The meeting was pervaded with an undercurrent of dread, as the managers tried not to admit firings were looming.
  • *{{quote-news
  • , year=2012 , date=May 9 , author=Jonathan Wilson , title=Europa League: Radamel Falcao's Atlético Madrid rout Athletic Bilbao , work=the Guardian citation , page= , passage=Although the crowd was predominantly red-and-white, there was also a Romanian flavour, which these days in football terms tends to mean there is at least an undercurrent of discontent. }}




    (English prepositions)
  • In or at a lower level than.
  • * 1922 , (Virginia Woolf), (w, Jacob's Room) Chapter 1
  • The little boys in the front bedroom had thrown off their blankets and lay under the sheets.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=14 citation , passage=Nanny Broome was looking up at the outer wall.  Just under the ceiling there were three lunette windows, heavily barred and blacked out in the normal way by centuries of grime.}}
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-29, volume=407, issue=8842, page=28, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= High and wet , passage=Floods in northern India, mostly in the small state of Uttarakhand, have wrought disaster on an enormous scale.
  • As a subject of; subordinate to.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2012, date=May 5, author=Phil McNulty, title=Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool
  • , work=BBC Sport citation , passage=He was then denied by a magnificent tackle from captain Terry as Liverpool continued to press - but Chelsea survived as the memories of the nightmare under Villas-Boas faded even further into the background.}}
  • * {{quote-news, year=2011, date=December 14, author=Angelique Chrisafis
  • , title=Rachida Dati accuses French PM of sexism and elitism, work=Guardian citation , passage=Dati launched a blistering attack on the prime minister, François Fillon, under whom she served as justice minister, accusing him of sexism, elitism, arrogance and hindering the political advancement of ethnic minorities.}}
  • Less than.
  • Below the surface of.
  • (figuratively) In the face of; in response to (some attacking force).
  • * 2011 , Tom Fordyce, Rugby World Cup 2011: England 12-19 France [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/15210221.stm]
  • England's World Cup dreams fell apart under a French onslaught on a night when their shortcomings were brutally exposed at the quarter-final stage.
  • As, in the character of.
  • * 2013 , The Huffington Post, JK Rowling Pseudonym: Robert Galbraith's 'The Cuckoo's Calling' Is Actually By Harry Potter Author [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/13/jk-rowling-pseudonym-robert-galbraith_n_3592769.html]
  • J.K. Rowling has written a crime novel called 'The Cuckoo's Calling' under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.


    * below * beneath * underneath


    * above * over


  • In a way lower or less than.
  • * (rfexample)
  • In a way inferior to.
  • * (rfexample)
  • In an unconscious state.
  • It took the hypnotist several minutes to make his subject go under .


    * below * beneath


    * above * over


    (en adjective)
  • Being lower; being beneath something.
  • * Bible, 1 Corinthians ix. 27
  • I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.
  • * Moore
  • The minstrel fell, but the foeman's chain / Could not bring his proud soul under .
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Derived terms

    * down under * six feet under * underachieve * underage * underarm * undercurrent * undercut * underground * underhanded * underneath * underrate * underreport * under the weather * undertow * underwater * underworld : See also:


    * Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans, "The vertical axis", in The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition , Cambridge University Press, 2003, 0-521-81430 8