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under- +‎ current


undercurrent (plural undercurrents)

  1. a current which flows under the surface
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Totten to this entry?)
  2. (figuratively) A tendency of feeling or opinion that is concealed rather than exposed.
    • George Eliot
      All the while there was a busy undercurrent in her.
    The meeting was pervaded with an undercurrent of dread, as the managers tried not to admit firings were looming.
    • 2012 May 9, Jonathan Wilson, “Europa League: Radamel Falcao's Atlético Madrid rout Athletic Bilbao”, in the Guardian[1]:
      Although the crowd was predominantly red-and-white, there was also a Romanian flavour, which these days in football terms tends to mean there is at least an undercurrent of discontent.
    • 2017 December 1, Tom Breihan, “Mad Max: Fury Road might already be the best action movie ever made”, in The Onion AV Club[2]:
      The feminist undercurrents of Fury Road got a lot of ink when the movie came out; critics loved pointing out that Miller had brought in The Vagina Monologues writer Eve Ensler as an on-set consultant.