underground Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “underground” in the English Dictionary

"underground" in British English

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undergroundadjective, adverb

uk   /ˌʌn.dəˈɡraʊnd/  us   /-dɚ-/
  • underground adjective, adverb (BELOW EARTH)

B2 below the ​surface of the ​earth; below ​ground: an underground ​cave/​passage/​cable Moles ​live underground.

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  • underground adjective, adverb (SECRET)

An underground ​activity is ​secret and usually ​illegal: an underground ​newspaper/​movement The ​Communist Party was ​forced (to go) underground, and ​itsleaders went into ​hiding.the underground railroad a ​secretsystem, used in the 19th ​century, by which slaves (= ​people who had been ​sold and ​forced to ​work) in the ​southern US were ​helped to ​escape to ​places where there was no slavery

undergroundnoun

uk   /ˈʌn.də.ɡraʊnd/  us   /-dɚ-/
  • underground noun (TRANSPORT)

the underground A2 [S] (also the tube) UK a ​railwaysystem in which ​electrictrainstravel through ​tunnels below ​ground: the London Underground They went on the underground.
  • underground noun (PEOPLE)

[U] people in a ​society who are ​trying new and often ​shocking or ​illegalways of ​living or ​forms of ​art: In ​Britain and the USA in the 1970s, the underground was a ​powerfulsubversiveforce.the underground a ​group of ​people who ​secretlyfight against the ​government: He was a ​member of the underground, ​harassing the ​invadingarmy.
(Definition of underground from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"underground" in American English

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undergroundadjective, adverb [not gradable]

 us   /ˌʌn·dərˈɡrɑʊnd/
below the ​surface of the ​earth; below ​ground: an underground ​garage Something that is done underground is ​secret or ​hidden, usually because it is not ​traditional or is ​shocking or ​illegal: an underground ​newspaper Officials ​believe the ​sighting of the ​suspect may have ​forced him to go underground (= to ​becomesecret).

undergroundnoun [U]

 us   /ˈʌn·dərˌɡrɑʊnd/
The underground is an ​organization that ​secretlyworks against those in ​power: He was a ​member of the ​French underground in ​World War II.
(Definition of underground from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“underground” in American English

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