underneath - definition and synonyms

adjective, adverb, noun, preposition 

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Underneath can be used in the following ways:
as a preposition (followed by a noun): I took the gun and hid it underneath the sofa.
as an adverb (without a following noun): She left the buttons open to show a layer of silk underneath.Underneath he is a very pleasant man.
as an adjective: The underneath part is blue and grey.
as a singular noun (after ‘the’): Looking at the car, I could see that the underneath was rusty.
  1. 1
    in, to, or through a place directly below something or directly covered by it

    I’ll leave the key underneath the mat.

    Curtis was partially crushed underneath the helicopter as it hit the ground.

    Everybody got underneath the tables to escape the gunfire.

    The child screamed once, and disappeared underneath the ice.

    The photographer’s name was printed underneath.

    He opened his jacket to reveal a bullet-proof vest underneath.

  2. 2
    used for describing the lower surface of something that faces down

    The pancakes should be golden underneath.

    The animal has rough hair on its back and soft, silky fur underneath.

    The wound has healed on top, but the skin underneath is still very painful.

    the underneath (of something):

    The underneath of the car was badly damaged.

  3. 3
    used for describing what someone or something is really like, despite how they may seem

    Gary is a typical Highlander – tough on the outside but with a heart of gold underneath.

    It looks like a lot of fuss about nothing, but underneath there is a serious point.