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From Middle English benethe, from Old English bineoþan (“beneath, under, below”), equivalent to be- + neath. Cognate with Low German benedden (“beneath”), Dutch beneden (“beneath, under, down”), obsolete German benieden (“below”).
- Below or underneath.
- 2013 May 11, “The climate of Tibet: Pole-land”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8835, page 80:
- Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.
below or underneath
- 1718, Alexander Pope, epitaph to Nicholas Rowe
- Beneath a rude and nameless stone he lies.
- 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter V, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
- Here, in the transept and choir, where the service was being held, one was conscious every moment of an increasing brightness; colours glowing vividly beneath the circular chandeliers, and the rows of small lights on the choristers' desks flashed and sparkled in front of the boys' faces, deep linen collars, and red neckbands.
- In a position that is lower in rank, dignity, etc.
- Their despicable behaviour is beneath contempt.
- a. 1730, Francis Atterbury, in The Grub-Street Journal, Volume 1
- He will do nothing that is beneath his high station.
- Covered up or concealed by something.
to a lower position