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below; in or to a lower place, position, state, or the like.
heaven above and the earth beneath.
below; under:
beneath the same roof.
farther down than; underneath; lower in place than:
The first drawer beneath the top one.
lower down on a slope than:
beneath the crest of a hill.
inferior or less important, as in position, rank, or power:
A captain is beneath a major.
unworthy of; below the level or dignity of:
to regard others as beneath one; behavior that was beneath contempt.
Contemporary Examples

beneath the sign, young men stood with machine guns slung over their shoulders, while female residents queued to see Dr. Sheikh.
Winter, Food Shortages, Descend on Syria’s Refugees Mike Giglio January 8, 2013

His hair is a thinning silver brillo pad, and his belly juts forward from beneath his suit jacket.
Elias Khoury: Profile of the Essential Arab Novelist Today Jacob Silverman August 2, 2012

But beneath this oddball kumbaya story lies a contradiction.
Cory Booker’s Rabbis Peter Beinart June 12, 2013

beneath that I added a number from a lost, or maybe stolen, cellphone that I had purchased specifically for this job.
Leonid McGill, Private Investigator Walter Mosley March 23, 2009

A copper-colored, ribbed turtleneck peeked from beneath a knee-skimming navy coat.
Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten Kick Off Paris Fall 2012 Fashion Week Robin Givhan February 29, 2012

Historical Examples

In his violence Philip tore at his breast, and dragged something from beneath his shirt.
The Manxman Hall Caine

He crumpled the poster and inserted it beneath the lid of his iron stove.
Way of the Lawless Max Brand

It was an interview at night, out in the open, beneath the stars!
The Fifth Ace Douglas Grant

beneath the car of this Juggernaut we must flout our judgments and crush our affections.
The Conquest of Fear Basil King

One of his guards then must be beneath the house, though he had not heard one go out.
Middy and Ensign G. Manville Fenn

below, esp if covered, protected, or obscured by
not as great or good as would be demanded by: beneath his dignity
below; underneath
adv., adj.

Old English beneoðan “beneath, under, below,” from be- “by” + neoðan “below,” originally “from below,” from Proto-Germanic *niþar “lower, farther down, down” (see nether). Meaning “unworthy of” is attested from 1849 (purists prefer below in this sense). “The be- gave or emphasized the notion of ‘where,’ excluding that of ‘whence’ pertaining to the simple niðan” [OED].


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