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subterranean

[suhb-tuh-rey-nee-uh n] /ˌsʌb təˈreɪ ni ən/
adjective, Also, subterraneous
1.
existing, situated, or operating below the surface of the earth; underground.
2.
existing or operating out of sight or secretly; hidden or secret.
noun
3.
a person or thing that is subterranean.
4.
a subterrane.
Origin of subterranean
1595-1605
1595-1605; < Latin subterrāne(us) (see subterrane) + -an
Related forms
subterraneanly, subterraneously, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for subterranean
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Robinson gives an excellent account, not only of the subterranean, but also of the open-air culture of mushrooms about Paris.

    Fungi: Their Nature and Uses Mordecai Cubitt Cooke
  • Cardinal Lorraine is said to have gone by this grewsome, subterranean passage.

    In Chteau Land Anne Hollingsworth Wharton
  • Has a ray of light penetrated into the subterranean gloom of your office?

    Comrade Yetta Albert Edwards
  • He at once announced that the house they were in had subterranean passages.

    The Son of Monte Christo Jules Lermina
  • By providing a subterranean channel for them, he saved them from the enemy and secured the water-supply of the besieged city.

    The Expositor's Bible F. W. Farrar
  • Other muscles, other minds, are pulling the island to its subterranean home.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
British Dictionary definitions for subterranean

subterranean

/ˌsʌbtəˈreɪnɪən/
adjective
1.
Also subterraneous, subterrestrial. situated, living, or operating below the surface of the earth
2.
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
adj.

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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