Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. In a lower place; below.
  • adv. Underneath.
  • prep. Lower than; below: a drawer beneath a cabinet.
  • prep. To or into a lower position than: moved the picture beneath the light.
  • prep. Covered or concealed by: The earth lay beneath a blanket of snow.
  • prep. Under the force, control, or influence of.
  • prep. Lower than, as in rank or station.
  • prep. Unworthy of; unbefitting: It was beneath me to beg.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. below or underneath
  • prep. below
  • prep. to a lower position
  • prep. covered up or concealed by something

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In a lower place; underneath.
  • adv. Below, as opposed to heaven, or to any superior region or position.
  • prep. Lower in place, with something directly over or on; under; underneath; hence, at the foot of.
  • prep. Under, in relation to something that is superior, or that oppresses or burdens.
  • prep. Lower in rank, dignity, or excellence than. Hence: Unworthy of; unbecoming.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In a lower place, position, or state, literally or figuratively.
  • Below, as opposed to on high, or in heaven or other superior region.
  • Below; under: with reference to what is overhead or towers aloft: as, beneath the same roof.
  • Underneath, whether in immediate contact with the under side of, or further down than; lower in place than: as, to place a cushion beneath one; beneath one's feet; beneath the surface: sometimes with verbs of motion: as, he sank beneath the wave.
  • Under the weight or pressure of; under the action or influence of: as, to sink beneath a burden.
  • Lower than, in rank, dignity, degree, or excellence; below: as, brutes are beneath man; man is beneath the angels.
  • Unworthy of; unbecoming; not equal to; below the level of: as, beneath contempt.
  • Synonyms Under, etc. See below.
  • Lower.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. in or to a place that is lower

Etymologies

Middle English binethe, from Old English beneothan : be, by; see by1 + neothan, below.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English benethe, from Old English beneoþan ("beneath, under, below"), from Proto-Germanic *bī-niþana (“below”), from Proto-Indo-European *ni-, *nei- (“in, under”). Cognate with Low German benedden ("beneath"), Dutch beneden ("beneath, under, down"), German benieden ("below"). Compare also Danish neden ("below"), Swedish and Icelandic nedan ("below, under"). See also nether. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Red above, and blue beneath, with the distinguishing pennant _beneath_, make

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  • Sorcha whispered his name beneath the mangled concrete and metal, her eyes glassy with pain.

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  • Pulling the paper free, Carla glanced down at a set of DVDs, the cover showing a cheap Xeroxed image of a man holding a gun to a woman's head, then laughed as she recognized the title beneath — a TV series she'd worked on.

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  • He opened the volume and read, with a questioning inflection, the title beneath his eyes, "'The Cranes of Ibycus'?"

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  • Walking home one night, she saw smashed beer bottles in the street, pieces of glass held together by the adhesive of the label beneath them.

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  • I went to the Indigo bookstore this weekend and I bought this cool book that teaches you Italian through sticky notes - there are 303 sticky notes with colourful, simple pictures and the Italian word beneath it.

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  • She's also Rebecca Romjin beneath all of that makeup.

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  • I climbed down and sat beside him, wrapping my arms around his hunched body, so thin beneath the new boy-muscle, and I kissed his hair, and I told him that it was okay to cry because everyone was sad sometimes, because I knew that someone had died.

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  • Jon's dragon coils from his lower back to his shoulders and in its claws clutches a scroll with what looks like his children's birthdates with their names in Korean beneath the numbers.

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