Undercurrent vs Undertow - What's the difference?

undercurrent | undertow |


As nouns the difference between undercurrent and undertow

is that undercurrent is a current which flows under the surface while undertow is a short-range flow of water returning seaward from the waves breaking on the shore.

As a verb undertow is

to pull or tow under; drag beneath; pull down.

undercurrent

English

Noun

(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 Atl├ętico 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. }}

    undertow

    English

    Verb

    (en verb)
  • To pull or tow under; drag beneath; pull down.
  • * 1914 , Denton Jaques Snider, Lincoln at Richmond :
  • Off in a gallop the General wheeled vanishing, And sped his steed away into the blue, When Lineoln now alone let go his speech Which had before been undertowed by force, [...]
  • To pull down by, or as by, an undertow.
  • * 1998 , Richard Gough, David Williams, Ric Allsopp, Performance Research: On Place :
  • A sense that the air, a sighting of muddy river, or that outcrop of rock so implacably bland in the light of midday, is undertowed by memory.
  • * 2003 , Michael T. Leibig, Mike Leibig Traveling in Disguise :
  • I sink because I cannot swim, undertowed to the Centre, abandoning all remembrance of the surface toward the cloud of unknowing, without choice I'm pulled.
  • To flow or behave as an undertow.
  • * 1917 , The Unpopular review:
  • Everybody knows this and acts accordingly; but when you say it, it sounds bad and bold, and makes you uncomfortable to hear it, because the puritan blood is still undertowing in your veins.

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • A short-range flow of water returning seaward from the waves breaking on the shore.
  • A strong undertow may sweep a returning swimmer off their feet but it does not carry them far from the shore.
  • (by extension) A feeling that runs contrary to one's normal one.
  • See also

    * rip current