• WordNet 3.6
    • n undertow the seaward undercurrent created after waves have broken on the shore
    • n undertow an inclination contrary to the strongest or prevailing feeling "his account had a poignant undertow of regret"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Undertow (Naut) The current that sets seaward near the bottom when waves are breaking upon the shore.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n undertow A current of water below the surface moving in a direction different from that of the surface-current; the backward flow or back-draft of a wave breaking on a beach. Sometimes called under-water.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Undertow un′dėr-tō an undercurrent in a different direction from that at the surface—seen esp. at the mouths of great rivers, or where tide and half-tides prevail.
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In literature:

What was a distant rumble soon became a near-by, long undertow of ominous sound.
"Little Busybodies" by Jeanette Augustus Marks and Julia Moody
It is difficult to get ahead of nature, and the undertow does bring back what you thought you were rid of.
"Riviera Towns" by Herbert Adams Gibbons
He was himself dragged, metaphorically speaking, from the undertow by a voice just behind him.
"Fair Harbor" by Joseph Crosby Lincoln
He wished the undertow would catch that Spenceley girl.
"The Dude Wrangler" by Caroline Lockhart
An undertow of receding water pulled him to the rocks and he touched them with his hands.
"The Northern Iron" by George A. Birmingham
This was caused by the undertow, which prevented her from being thrown bodily on to the berg.
"The Voyages of the Ranger and Crusader" by W.H.G. Kingston
There is a sort of undertow in the city tides far up from the river-front.
"Lippincott's Magazine, November 1885" by Various
No sharks here, and no undertow.
"The Trail of the Hawk" by Sinclair Lewis
Two unanchored souls in its maelstrom were whirled, Drawn down by love's undertow, lost to the world.
"Three Women" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The undertow writhed about their legs, jerked at them wrathfully.
"Heart of the Blue Ridge" by Waldron Baily

In poetry:

I am the undertow
Washing tides of power
Battering the pillars
Under your things of high law.
"Under" by Carl Sandburg
"Not with hatred's undertow
Doth the Love Eternal flow;
Every chain that spirits wear
Crumbles in the breath of prayer;
And the penitent's desire
Opens every gate of fire.
"The Grave" by John Greenleaf Whittier
He sings of love, whose flame illumes
The darkness of lone cottage rooms;
He feels the force,
The treacherous undertow and stress
Of wayward passions, and no less
The keen remorse.
"Ultima Thule: Robert Burns" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There are in life such hard blows . . . I don't know!
Blows seemingly from God's wrath; as if before them
the undertow of all our sufferings
is embedded in our souls . . . I don't know!
"Black Messengers (Translation of Los Heraldos Negros)" by Cesar Vallejo
In ocean waters the Sea Puss is found,
Cat-like, forever chasing round and round.
She has no claws, but crouching sly and low
She stealthily puts out her undertow.
And when an old seadog comes in her way
I'll warrant you there is the deuce to pay!
"A Phenomenal Fauna" by Carolyn Wells

In news:

"Adding the coffee gives it what I call an 'undertow' along with a great earthiness.".
Undertow Directed by Javier Fuentes-Len The Film Collaborative Opens November 26, Cinema Village.
Writer-director Javier Fuentes-León's directorial debut, Undertow, is sublime.
Chaplinesque fable has an airiness that masks its tragic undertow.
Raya Yarbrough is like the musical equivalent of an undertow, sometimes gentle as a nudge, other times powerful enough to drag your imagination miles off course.
Brad Wilson and Shaun Reed have made the first free ascent of Undertow (5.11+), one of the hardest routes on the Black Wall of Mt Evans, Colorado.
Undertow is a 20-plus-year-old aid route (5.10a A4-) first put up by Kirk Miller and Ken Trout.
The Undertow ,' by Jo Baker, offers multigenerational story of a family shaped by wars.
'Economic Undertow ' Could Drag Obama Under With Voters.
Undertow Directed by Javier Fuentes-Len The Film Collaborative Opens November 26, Cinema Village.
Writer-director Javier Fuentes-León's directorial debut, Undertow , is sublime.
' Undertow ': Oh, Brother, It's Quite a Thriller.
Is there some systemic way to transform the undertow so that instead of most corporations being hostile to innovation, you would have most corporations being congenial to and supportive of innovation.
'Undertow' frames human story as parable .
Undertow takes a modern, moving look at bisexuality.