• WordNet 3.6
    • n undercurrent a subdued emotional quality underlying an utterance; implicit meaning
    • n undercurrent a current below the surface of a fluid
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Undercurrent A current below the surface of water, sometimes flowing in a contrary direction to that on the surface.
    • Undercurrent Hence, figuratively, a tendency of feeling, opinion, or the like, in a direction contrary to what is publicly shown; an unseen influence or tendency; as, a strong undercurrent of sentiment in favor of a prisoner. "All the while there was a busy undercurrent in her."
    • a Undercurrent Running beneath the surface; hidden. "Undercurrent woe."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • undercurrent Running below or out of sight; hidden.
    • n undercurrent A current in a body of water or other liquid, or in the atmosphere, below the upper or superficial currents.
    • n undercurrent Figuratively, something at work below the surface or out of sight, as influence or feeling, which has a tendency opposite to or different from what is visible or apparent.
    • n undercurrent In hydraul. mining, an arrangement on the sluices which is intended to aid in saving the gold. The coarser material is separated from the finer by means of a “grizzly” (a set of iron or steel bars placed about an inch apart in the bottom of the main sluice), and this finer material is carried into the “undercurrent” proper, which is a shallow box of varying shape but very large dimensions, much wider than the main sluice, and paved with blocks, iron rails, or cobbles, thus forming a kind of broad sluice by the side of and beneath the main one, and in the newest arrangements having a considerably steeper grade. The material which escapes from the undercurrent is led back into the main sluice lower down. As many as six, or even more, of these undercurrents are occasionally introduced into the sluice-line.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Undercurrent un′dėr-kur-ent a current under the surface of the water: any influence or feeling not apparent on the surface
    • adj Undercurrent running below or unseen
    • ***


In literature:

But subconsciously there ran an undercurrent of dread insecurity.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII)" by Various
Whymper excels in matter-of-fact history of climbs, yet there is an undercurrent of reverence for the mysteries of Nature's beauty.
"Mountain Meditations" by L. Lind-af-Hageby
The days immediately following were charged with dangerous undercurrents.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume IV (of 8)"
Somehow that word always moved him and brought out his great undercurrent.
"Mixed Faces" by Roy Norton
Alice was a pretty girl, rather ordinary, and ever ready for laughter, which helped to conceal an undercurrent of serious thought.
"The Hound From The North" by Ridgwell Cullum
All is quiet here now, but the strength of the undercurrent is something tremendous.
"Ireland as It Is" by Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
But through all his dismay ran an undercurrent of puzzled wonderment.
"The Finding of Haldgren" by Charles Willard Diffin
Her words had an undercurrent of meanings which she probably did not realize.
"The Lonely Way--Intermezzo--Countess Mizzie" by Arthur Schnitzler
But, somehow, just now a slight undercurrent of thought and feeling had set in.
"The Law-Breakers" by Ridgwell Cullum
What depth of beauty, with an undercurrent of endless sadness, there is in these dreamily glowing evenings!
"Farthest North" by Fridtjof Nansen

In poetry:

But as the undercurrents sigh
Beneath the surface of a river,
The music of humanity
Dwells in his forest-psalms for ever.
"Charles Harpur" by Henry Kendall
Within the precincts of a hospital,
I wandered in a sympathetic mood;
Where face to face with wormwood and with gall,
With wrecks of pain and stern vicissitude,
The eye unused to human misery
Might view life's undercurrent vividly.
"Life's Undercurrent." by Alfred Castner King

In news:

Along with an undercurrent of score-settling -- dot "Top of the Rock," Warren Littlefield's memoir of his run at NBC.
However, there's an undercurrent of seriousness which must be addressed.
And Calif no longer swimming against a sales tax undercurrent .
Undercurrent of homophobia still shapes women's sports.
Optimism With an Undercurrent of Concern.
Experts say blasphemy laws are undercurrent of unrest in Middle East.
Undercurrents: Keeping Watch Over Oakland's Schools Was Not for Brown.
Brooklyn duo explores 'the undercurrent of spiritual joy ' in black metal on 'Aesthethica'.
CLEMSON — Underneath the offensive fireworks this season at Clemson, there has been a quiet undercurrent: the Tigers' defense has changed from liability to an asset over the last six weeks.
Brooklyn duo explores 'the undercurrent of spiritual joy' in black metal on 'Aesthethica'.
Responding to the undercurrent of angst and fear, we feature different scenarios depicting discomfort and the desire to overcome it.
The political undercurrent of the ongoing JCPS student assignment saga.
' Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian' filmmakers visit Studio A. UnderCurrents 12am - 7am.
But there has been an undercurrent of doubt.
The "mommy wars" – the so-called conflict between moms (or parenting philosophies) over topics related to motherhood – are a constant cultural undercurrent.

In science:

While we will not explain in these notes the representation theoretic undercurrent in any detail, we cannot and do not want to get rid of it completely.
Lectures on integrable probability
For a long time now, I think, there has been an undercurrent of pessimism at least in some parts of the relativity community: One does what one can but secretly (or, sometimes, openly!) believes that the task is way beyond us.
Overview and Outlook