Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "undercurrent" []

  • A current, as of air or water, below another current or beneath a surface. (noun)
  • An underlying tendency, force, or influence often contrary to what is superficially evident; an intimation: "The Gaucho began to talk, calmly but with an undercurrent of passion” ( Thomas Pynchon). (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "undercurrent" in a sentence
  • "He has called for people, kids and adults alike, to redouble efforts to fight what he calls an "undercurrent of acceptability" for drunk driving."
  • "The most important undercurrent is the Equatorial Undercurrent that flows from the west, producing upwellings of cool water rich in nutrients near western shores."
  • "But as the incidents escalate in both number and consequence, it soon becomes apparent that a darker undercurrent is stirring within the school."