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under- +‎ soil


undersoil (plural undersoils)

  1. (geology) The soil underneath the surface / topsoil and above the bedrock.
    • 1845, Charles Darwin, Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited during the Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle Round the World, 2nd edition, London: John Murray, Chapter , p. 249,[1]
      It is a singular fact, that on the two great continents in the northern hemisphere [] we have the zone of perpetually frozen under-soil in a low latitude []
    • 1916, D. H. Lawrence, “Discipline” in Amores, London: Duckworth, p. 37,[2]
      But comfort me, my love, now the fires are low,
      Now I am broken to earth like a winter destroyed, and all
      Myself but a knowledge of roots, of roots in the dark that throw
      A net on the undersoil, which lies passive beneath their thrall.
    • 1945, C. S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength, London: The Bodley Head, 1965, Part Two, Chapter 5, p. 166,[3]
      The childish levels, the undersoil of the mind, had been turned up. She wanted to be with Nice people, away from Nasty people—that nursery distinction seeming at the moment more important than any later categories of Good and Bad or Friend and Enemy.
    • 1960, Muriel Spark, The Ballad of Peckham Rye, London: Macmillan, Chapter 7,
      Dougal pointed out to his policemen friends the evidence of the Thames silt in the under-soil. ‘One time,’ he said, ‘the Thames was five miles wide, and it covered all Peckham.’