9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[suhb-tuh-rey-nee-uh n] /ˌsʌb təˈreɪ ni ən/
adjective, Also, subterraneous
existing, situated, or operating below the surface of the earth; underground.
existing or operating out of sight or secretly; hidden or secret.
a person or thing that is subterranean.
a subterrane.
Origin of subterranean
1595-1605; < Latin subterrāne(us) (see subterrane) + -an
Related forms
subterraneanly, subterraneously, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for subterranean
  • But the results of the subterranean program could not be completely hidden.
  • But another way to get at this subterranean territory is by looking at our imaginative lives.
  • Extracting this subterranean energy is not as easy as it sounds.
  • Scientists who believe snakes evolved on land say they began as subterranean creatures.
  • Geothermal power plants, which tap hot subterranean water or steam, are high on many lists.
  • That's created a new need for ways of fighting the subterranean drug trade.
  • First, there is clearly a subterranean dissatisfaction going on in his department and college.
  • The gypsum precipitates out of water in the cave, creating these subterranean forms over time.
  • These odd little creatures live in subterranean tunnels where air is at a premium.
  • It contains the remains of what was once a large roofed subterranean tomb.
British Dictionary definitions for subterranean


Also subterraneous, subterrestrial. situated, living, or operating below the surface of the earth
existing or operating in concealment
Derived Forms
subterraneanly, subterraneously, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin subterrāneus, from sub- + terra earth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for subterranean

c.1600, from Latin subterraneus "underground," from sub "under" (see sub-) + terra "earth" (see terrain).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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