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Undercurrent   Listen
noun
Undercurrent  n.  
1.
A current below the surface of water, sometimes flowing in a contrary direction to that on the surface.
2.
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."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Undercurrent" Quotes from Famous Books



... supplied with mythical monsters, singing flowers, and blooming women. Strange scarlet and mulberry threads form the woof of these tapestries, threads pulled with great labour from all the art of the past. There is, in much of his work, an undercurrent of subtle sensuous erotic poison; in one of her stories Edna Kenton tells us that chartreuse jaune and bananas form such a poison. There is a suggestion of chartreuse jaune and bananas in much of the work of ...
— The Merry-Go-Round • Carl Van Vechten

... penetrating. Even as the cheery lay of the Otocompsa bulbuls forms the dominant note of the bird chorus in our southern hill stations, so does the less melodious but not less cheerful call of the flycatcher-warblers run as an undercurrent through the melody of the feathered ...
— Birds of the Indian Hills • Douglas Dewar

... whom we write was unusually romantic, for her romance consisted of a deep undercurrent of powerful but quiet enthusiasm, with a pretty strong surface-flow of common-sense. Her husband was a man of noble mind and commanding presence—a magnificent representative John Bull, with the polish of a courtier and the principles of a Christian; ...
— The Pirate City - An Algerine Tale • R.M. Ballantyne

... boy heard the same muffled hoofs and voices die away towards the front. He began to dress himself mechanically, almost vacantly, yet conscious always of a vague undercurrent of thrilling excitement. When he had finished he waited almost breathlessly, feeling the same beating of his heart that he had felt when he was following the vanished train the day before. At last he could stand the suspense ...
— A Waif of the Plains • Bret Harte

... "The undercurrent of restrained emotion in this little scene went out to that crowd, which represented the wealth, beauty and chivalry of France. I suppose that some of them thought it a bit of good acting. These people love the drama as no others love it. I suspect that many of the friends ...
— In the Days of Poor Richard • Irving Bacheller

... the appreciation of Jewish Legends, it is the Rabbinic writers that should form the point of departure, and not the pseudepigrapha. The former represent the main stream of Jewish thought and feeling, the latter only an undercurrent. If the Synagogue cast out the pseudepigrapha, and the Church adopted them with a great show of favor, these respective attitudes were not determined arbitrarily or by chance. The pseudepigrapha originated in circles that harbored the germs from which Christianity developed later on. ...
— The Legends of the Jews Volume 1 • Louis Ginzberg

... Senators after 1840, and even Northwestern States threatened disruption of the Union as late as 1859 if the national policy should continue to run counter to their interests. There was, however, a strong undercurrent of devotion to the idea of nationality in both North and South[12] in 1860, and when South Carolina proceeded with her long-contemplated scheme of secession early in November of that year, Jefferson Davis, who had formerly talked freely of that "last remedy" of minority ...
— Expansion and Conflict • William E. Dodd

... newspapers had more than enough 'copy' to keep them busy. The narrow escape of the King from assassination, followed by his excommunication from the Church, worked a curious effect on the minds of the populace, who were somewhat bewildered and uncertain as to the possible undercurrent of political meaning flowing beneath the conjunction of these two events; and their feelings were intensified by the announcement that the youth who had attempted the monarch's life,— being proved as suffering from hereditary brain disease,—had received a free pardon, ...
— Temporal Power • Marie Corelli

... in home life—this "I must"—just the thing which makes it akin to our Lord's life? Is there not in that Holiest Life a continual undercurrent of "I must"? His earthly life was a course of obedience, not a succession of self-willed efforts; its keynote was, "Wist ye not that I must be ...
— Stray Thoughts for Girls • Lucy H. M. Soulsby

... when another month was gone these were the changes it had wrought. The four so strangely bound together by ties of suffering and sin went on their way, to the world's eye, blessed with every gracious gift, but below the tranquil surface rolled that undercurrent whose mysterious tides ebb and flow in human hearts unfettered by race or rank or time. Gilbert was a good actor, but, though he curbed his fitful temper, smoothed his mien, and sweetened his manner, his wife soon felt the vanity of hoping to recover ...
— Pauline's Passion and Punishment • Louisa May Alcott

... and crofters were hard at work hauling up spars and barrels as fast as they were tossed ashore. None of them had seen any bodies, however, and they explained to us that only such things as could float had any chance of coming ashore, for the undercurrent was so strong that whatever was beneath the surface must infallibly ...
— The Mystery of Cloomber • Arthur Conan Doyle

... professional workers, especially those who are united in "Bohemian life" by artistic or literary interests. But while such sexually anarchistic women are not common in America, there is reason for fearing that, unless some unexpected check comes to this undercurrent towards sexual freedom, it may be found ten or twenty years hence that a surprisingly large number, but never a majority, of unmarried young women have fallen into the sexual promiscuity that is so common among unmarried men of ...
— Sex-education - A series of lectures concerning knowledge of sex in its - relation to human life • Maurice Alpheus Bigelow

... Dec. 31—An undercurrent of irritation is evident over the American note on interference with American commerce; a new decoration, the Military Cross, has ...
— The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915 • Various

... brought forth the company preserves; fruit cake was unearthed from the big stone crock in the dining-room closet; and, as a final touch to the feast, Jane beat up a foamy omelet and a prune whip. In their enjoyment they were like a group of children, an undercurrent of delight in the forbidden tinging ...
— The Wall Between • Sara Ware Bassett

... under the cool, ironical questioning with its undercurrent of keen contempt. Each word stung like the flick of a lash on bare flesh. But she forced herself ...
— The Lamp of Fate • Margaret Pedler

... something like a shiver at the reflection of the lanthorn in a far-stretching mirror of intense blackness which lay smooth and undisturbed, save in one part away to his left, where it was blurred and dimmed, rising and falling as if moved by some undercurrent. ...
— The Lost Middy - Being the Secret of the Smugglers' Gap • George Manville Fenn

... so that every sentence, as it has been thought out from the heart, opens a way down to the heart, and leads us to the very centre of life. Hence there is in every word set down by the Imagination an awful undercurrent of meaning—an evidence and shadow upon it of the deep places out ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV. October, 1863, No. IV. - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... was the sign of recovering health. Kind nature put that district to sleep while she operated on the disquieted lower functions. I looked on my later self as one observes the mossy bearded substances travelling blind along the undercurrent of the stream, clinging to this and that, ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... source of attraction would have alone procured me the attention I have found, I would hope it may partly have arisen from their simple, unaffected appeal to those quiet, domestic, secluded feelings, which endear the still undercurrent of existence—in short, to my being content to make the best I could of the homely and confined materials to which my situation has given me access, without affecting scholarship, or aiming at romantic embellishment. There is nothing like simple truth and nature, after all; and he who is satisfied ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume 10, No. 271, Saturday, September 1, 1827. • Various

... he went to work as a section hand on a railroad. Nothing happened to him. He was like one compelled to walk through life with a bandage over his eyes. On all sides of him, in the towns and on the farms, an undercurrent of life went on that did not touch him. In even the smallest of the towns, inhabited only by farm laborers, a quaint interesting civilization was being developed. Men worked hard but were much in the open air and had time to think. Their minds reached out toward the solution of the ...
— Poor White • Sherwood Anderson

... constitute a far deeper and more abiding charm than statuesque beauty, are equally absent from an impersonation which in its earlier phases is almost distressingly labored. While the actress is entertaining her guests with improvised comedy, moreover, no undercurrent of emotion, no suggestion of suppressed anxiety is perceptible. It is not till this double role, which demands a degree of finesse evidently beyond Miss Anderson's range, is exchanged for the ...
— Mary Anderson • J. M. Farrar

... for Saratoga. The change was eminently beneficial, and before they reached Canada Irene seemed perfectly restored. But her father was not satisfied. Her unwonted taciturnity annoyed and puzzled him; he knew that beneath the calm surface some strong undercurrent rolled swiftly, and he racked his brain to discover what had rendered her so reserved. Louisa's joyous, elastic spirits probably heightened the effect of her companion's gravity, and the contrast daily presented could ...
— Macaria • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... brawny seamen were grouped in clusters around the great guns. The creole soldiers came of a race whose habit it has ever been to take all phases of life joyously; but that morning their gayety was tempered by a dark undercurrent of fierce anxiety. They had more at stake than any other men on the field. They were fighting for their homes; they were fighting for their wives and their daughters. They well knew that the men they were to face were very brave ...
— The Naval War of 1812 • Theodore Roosevelt

... religion, even though imbedded in the corruption, or alloyed with the pride, of the world, betoken His original agency, and His long-suffering presence. Even where there is habitual rebellion against Him, or profound far-spreading social depravity, still the undercurrent, or the heroic outburst, of natural virtue, as well as the yearnings of the heart after what it has not, and its presentiment of its true remedies, are to be ascribed to the Author of all good. Anticipations or reminiscences of His glory haunt the mind of the self-sufficient sage, and of the ...
— The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated: In Nine - Discourses Delivered to the Catholics of Dublin • John Henry Newman

... another grand sight presented itself. The northern and larger of the two floes, acted strongly upon by the gale, and opposed by the smaller floe, was slowly but irresistibly swinging round, and in its sweep it had come into contact with a very large berg, which, influenced apparently by some undercurrent, was with equally irresistible force actually making its way to windward in the teeth of the gale. The result was a scene of wild chaos and confusion and destruction compared with which that upon which they had just looked was as nothing. The berg simply tore ...
— The Log of the Flying Fish - A Story of Aerial and Submarine Peril and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... Sandford lasher, just behind the lock, is a very good place to drown yourself in. The undercurrent is terribly strong, and if you once get down into it you are all right. An obelisk marks the spot where two men have already been drowned, while bathing there; and the steps of the obelisk are generally used as a diving-board ...
— Three Men in a Boa • Jerome K. Jerome

... severe to the point of grimness. He is right because it is ein altes Liedchen, and Heine's handling of it is also kept outwardly cold. But Marston has rendered the song into music of the richest harmony and fullest pathos. He is right, also, because he has interpreted the undercurrent ...
— Contemporary American Composers • Rupert Hughes

... few fans stirred imperceptibly an atmosphere supercharged with radiations from so many human bodies added to the natural heat of a summer's evening; there were no other sounds or movements of any consequence. Sally became uncomfortably susceptible to the undercurrent of high nervous tension, conscious of a slight dew on her hands and forehead, and surprisingly conscious of the sonorous thumping of her heart. Unaccountably, nobody else ...
— Nobody • Louis Joseph Vance

... not so clear. The waves created patches of foam, and long submarine plants swayed gently in the undercurrent. ...
— The Wings of the Morning • Louis Tracy

... undercurrent of longing to see Nancy flowed on and on. Bert wanted nothing else—just Nancy. He had been spending the summer with a friend, at the friend's uptown house, but now he thought he would go out to the Venables, and show some interest in his newly-papered ...
— Undertow • Kathleen Norris

... intervals of leisure, in a little knot of relations and friends, he delighted in quiet conversation, through which occasionally ran an undercurrent of pleasantry, not unmixed with caustic wit. At his table he was the least heard among the company, and so far from being the hero of his own tale, I never heard him voluntarily refer to any of the great actions of ...
— The Life of Nelson, Vol. II. (of 2) - The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain • A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

... An undercurrent of anxiety pervaded the ship, for we were running with no landmark to guide us, and with only the captain's knowledge of the bay and the tides ...
— Byways Around San Francisco Bay • William E. Hutchinson

... clear for his start. "The First Lord of the Treasury;" so spoke the Speaker—almost softly—and, in a moment, when he had realized what had taken place, the Old Man was upright, and the Liberal and Irish members were on their feet, waving their hats, cheering themselves hoarse. And yet an undercurrent and audible note of anxiety ran through all the enthusiasm. The honeymoon of Home Rule is over, and, curiously enough, the very sense of a great victory after a long struggle has always about it a solemnity too sad ...
— Sketches In The House (1893) • T. P. O'Connor

... alone in the direction of Yeobright's place of work. He was busily chopping away at the furze, a long row of faggots which stretched downward from his position representing the labour of the day. He did not observe her approach, and she stood close to him, and heard his undercurrent of song. It shocked her. To see him there, a poor afflicted man, earning money by the sweat of his brow, had at first moved her to tears; but to hear him sing and not at all rebel against an occupation which, however satisfactory ...
— The Return of the Native • Thomas Hardy

... the Balkan region as well as all of the small nations that had been absorbed but had not been digested by Austria, should cut itself from the leading strings held by the large European powers. There was a distinct undercurrent, for a federation resembling that of the United States of America between these peoples. This was expressed most clearly by M. Jonesco, leader of the Liberal party of Roumania and generally recognized as the ablest statesman of middle ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... This undercurrent of suffering, which increased week by week as the writing on the wall grew longer, was in pitiful contrast to the enthusiasm with which the women sent their men and sons away to war. More than once ...
— The Log of a Noncombatant • Horace Green

... feelings, and protest that death is not to be feared but welcomed—as the passage from a troublous existence to everlasting peace. In most of the poetry of the time, religion, if at all noticeable, is a mere undercurrent; but whenever it rises to the surface, it reflects ...
— English Poets of the Eighteenth Century • Selected and Edited with an Introduction by Ernest Bernbaum

... desperate. I realized how everything depended on God's touch. And without any planning a habit of continual praying formed itself. I could be engaged in conversation, thinking intently into something needing great care, and yet there was an undercurrent of prayer constantly. I shall never cease to be grateful for that trying experience, because in it this new habit of a praying bent ...
— Quiet Talks with World Winners • S. D. Gordon

... nineteenth century, her only equal being Mrs. Browning. Besides the brief poems in Sing-Song, Miss Rossetti's "Goblin Market" and "Uphill" please young people of a contemplative mood. While there is an undercurrent of sadness in much of her work, it is a natural accompaniment of her themes and ...
— Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes • Charles Madison Curry

... between the different members which compose it. Even the addition of many new ones has produced no jarring. They move in their respective orbits in perfect harmony with the central head and with each other. But there is still an undercurrent at work by which, if not seasonably checked, the worst apprehensions of our antifederal patriots will be realized, and not only will the State authorities be overshadowed by the great increase of power in the executive department of the General Government, but the character of that ...
— U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses • Various

... Nature's Lullaby The Spirit of Freedom Is Born of the Mountains The Valley of the San Miguel To Mother Huberta Suggested by a Mountain Eagle The Silvery San Juan As the Shifting Sands of the Desert Missed If I Have Lived Before The Darker Side The Miner Life's Undercurrent They Cannot See the Wreaths We Place Mother—Alpha and Omega Empty Are the Mother's Arms In Deo Fides Shall Love, as the Bridal Wreath, Wither and Die Shall Our Memories Live When the Sod Rolls Above Us ...
— Mountain idylls, and Other Poems • Alfred Castner King

... each note is heard clearly. The tempo of the first movement, which begins after a grand pause, is allegro con brio, and the first subject is given out in a sparkling cascade of sound. But, despite the buoyancy of the music, there is an unmistakable undercurrent of melancholy in the playing. The audience doesn't ...
— A Book of Burlesques • H. L. Mencken

... have nothing to say?" Westerling's frown deepened. There was an undercurrent of urgency in his tone. This mild culprit, waiting for the wheels of justice to roll over him without a protest, gave him no light as to a policy that should apply to other cases. He resented, too, any suggestion of readiness ...
— The Last Shot • Frederick Palmer

... sitting. She was very white, and the powder on her face gave her an added and unnatural pallor. As the people cheered her husband and herself she raised her head slightly and seemed to be trying to catch any sound of dissent in their greeting, or some possible undercurrent of disfavor, but the welcome appeared to be both genuine and hearty, until a second shout smothered it completely as the figure of old General Rojas, the Vice-President, and the most dearly loved by the common people, came ...
— Soldiers of Fortune • Richard Harding Davis

... alone in the churchyard, lost for a brief space in meditation. The solemn strains of the organ which the schoolmistress was still playing, floated softly out from the church to the perfumed air, and the grave melodious murmur made an undercurrent of harmony to the clear bright warbling of a skylark, which, beating its wings against the sunbeams, rose ever higher and higher ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... at him, with a seriousness equal to his own as she answered, "I promise." And inwardly the sense of some unknown undercurrent that might grow into a rushing torrent made ...
— The Reason Why • Elinor Glyn

... excitement of Norway may lose me some marks in term's order. Not many I dare say." Again, "When you are excited reports go bad. I have been shouting rather, kicking up a shine. Once there was a small fight which was twigged. Norway is a serious matter." There was an undercurrent of nervousness, discernible only to her eyes. She could not account for it till she had him home, and they were on the edge of adventure. It was lest he should be seasick and disgrace himself in the esteem of young Nugent, who, as a naval officer, was of course sea-proof. "I expect Nugent likes ...
— Love and Lucy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... excellent terms with a great many members of Congress, and there was an undercurrent of suspicion in some quarters that she was one of that detested class known as "lobbyists;" but what belle could escape slander in such a city? Fairminded people declined to condemn her on mere suspicion, and so the injurious talk made no very damaging headway. ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... I felt an undercurrent of anxiety lest I might sustain spiritual loss by my sudden accession to great wealth, and continued to ...
— California Sketches, Second Series • O. P. Fitzgerald

... dwell so long on one topic, or to show such exaggerated interest in it; but she had rightly guessed that Mr. Gryce's egoism was a thirsty soil, requiring constant nurture from without. Miss Bart had the gift of following an undercurrent of thought while she appeared to be sailing on the surface of conversation; and in this case her mental excursion took the form of a rapid survey of Mr. Percy Gryce's future as combined with her own. The Gryces were from Albany, and but lately introduced to the metropolis, where the mother and ...
— House of Mirth • Edith Wharton

... sink a well in a stream the bed of which is quicksand, a flour-barrel, perforated with small holes, should be used as a curb, to prevent the sand from caving in. The barrel must be forced down as the sand is removed; and when, as is often the case, there is an undercurrent through the sand, the well will be continually filled ...
— The Prairie Traveler - A Hand-book for Overland Expeditions • Randolph Marcy

... for the rest of the party, but she would have preferred originating the suggestion. Besides, the conversation had begun to interest her; and she liked being amused too well not to be sorry for its being cut short abruptly. She thought Major Keene talked epigrammatically; and the undercurrent of irony that ran through all he said was not so obtrusive as to ...
— Sword and Gown - A Novel • George A. Lawrence

... tickling, accompanied, it may be, by some ovarian congestion, for she felt that on the left side there was a network of sexual nerves, and retroversion of the uterus was detected some years later. Her life was strenuous with many duties, but no occupation could be pursued without this undercurrent of sexual hyperaesthesia involving perpetual self-control. This continued more or less acutely for many years, when menstruation suddenly stopped altogether, much before the usual period of the climacteric. At the same time the sexual excitement ceased, and she became ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... tolerably well together. We managed to put up with your shortcomings and you managed to put up with ours, which at times may have been considerable of a strain on both sides. Still we've done it. But it seems to me here of late there's been a kind of an undercurrent of discontent stirrin' amongst your people—and no logical reason fur it either, so fur as I kin see. Yet there ...
— Sundry Accounts • Irvin S. Cobb

... used in the case of my mother, namely, that if M. Termonde had really been concerned in the assassination of my father, he had dreaded my aunt's penetration beyond all things. Their relations had been formal, with an undercurrent of enmity on her part which had assuredly not escaped a man so astute as he. If he were guilty, would he not have feared that my aunt would have confided her thoughts to me on her death-bed? The attitude that he should assume towards me, ...
— Stories of Modern French Novels • Julian Hawthorne

... happily, revealing but little of herself, and holding a slight reserve in her manner which seemed to him quite delightful and maidenly. Then, all too suddenly, he was gone again, but in his heart he carried a memory of her that made a continual undercurrent in his thoughts. ...
— The Eye of Dread • Payne Erskine

... that I had spent in vainly trying to overcome the love and hatred which consumed me. However occupied I was with the pressing affairs of my almost over-filled life I was conscious of an undercurrent of despair—the despair that I had felt when Eve told me ...
— Futurist Stories • Margery Verner Reed

... only to be thwarted by a still more capricious octave descent. This time, however, after a dramatic pause, we are rewarded with a clear-cut, periodic melody beginning in measure 66, against which the rhythm of the first theme keeps up a gentle undercurrent. Some interesting modulations develop into a series of descending octaves which, accompanied by sf chords, lead to the closing portion. This brilliant passage accentuates the dominant key of the second theme. After a short tranquillo phrase ...
— Music: An Art and a Language • Walter Raymond Spalding

... comic songs there is ever in them something of the melancholy undercurrent that has been detected under the laces and arabesques of Chopin's nominally frivolous dances. Foster's ballad form was extremely attenuated, but the melodic content filled it so completely that it seems to strain at the bounds and must be repeated and repeated to furnish full gratification ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... efficiency." Also the best authorities, and even the government investigators themselves, are urging a speedy return to private ownership and operation at the earliest possible moment after the war. The same undercurrent of feeling, or rather conviction, is rapidly spreading among our own people in ...
— Socialism and American ideals • William Starr Myers

... the undercurrent of talk which she starts is the beginning of a rapid series of incidents which force the problem of the past up to the threshold of Richard Livingstone's consciousness. There would then be two ways of facing his difficulties, and he takes the braver. Confronted ...
— When Winter Comes to Main Street • Grant Martin Overton

... and returned to the doorway, while Dundee again consulted his watch, mentally subtracting the minutes which had been wasted upon this interruption, from the time he had marked upon his memory as the moment at which Drake had interfered. But an undercurrent of skepticism nagged at his mind. Why had Drake chosen to walk? And why had it taken him from 5:10 to approximately 5:33 to walk a mile or less? The average walker, and especially one accustomed to ...
— Murder at Bridge • Anne Austin

... sharply witty and with some depth of heart. The fancy-dress party scene is autobiographic, he having attended such an occasion at Carroll Beckwith's studio, in New York. In technique, this scene is comparable with the one of similar gaiety in "Lord and Lady Algy"—both having an undercurrent of serious strain. The tragedy motive is relieved at almost calculated times by comedy, which shows that Fitch held to the old dramatic theory of comic relief. Often this was irritating, discounting the mood he was trying to maintain. He was not as ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: The Moth and the Flame • Clyde Fitch

... into the path of the Forward. All of them did not obey the same impulsion, and it was not uncommon to encounter some of the highest masses drifting in an opposite direction, seized at their base by an undercurrent. ...
— The English at the North Pole - Part I of the Adventures of Captain Hatteras • Jules Verne

... the voice was, gently as the words were spoken, Tunis sensed an undercurrent of firmness and determination in the girl's character that he had not ...
— Sheila of Big Wreck Cove - A Story of Cape Cod • James A. Cooper

... the undercurrent of thought in Mary's mind, while she heard Humphrey describe to her uncle, who promptly obeyed the summons, the capture of the four ...
— Penshurst Castle - In the Days of Sir Philip Sidney • Emma Marshall

... soberly that afternoon. Touched as she was by what Mrs. Snow had said, there was yet an undercurrent of sadness in it all. She was thinking of Aunt Polly—Aunt Polly who played the game now so seldom; and she was wondering if she herself always played ...
— Pollyanna Grows Up • Eleanor H. Porter

... conclusion. Always, while writing—whatever might be the subject of my story—I have been influenced by an undercurrent of effort and desire to direct the minds and affections of my readers towards ...
— The Idler Magazine, Volume III, June 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... criminal. Increase of education and scientific skill not only confers superior facilities for the successful perpetration of crime, but also for its concealment. The revelations of the newspapers, from week to week, but too plainly indicate an undercurrent of vice and iniquity, whose depth ...
— Danger! A True History of a Great City's Wiles and Temptations • William Howe

... that her gaiety rippled over an undercurrent of pain, Stephen bent forward and touched her hand with an ...
— One Man in His Time • Ellen Glasgow

... guarded, but it was so plainly his last word to her; Llewellyn Stanhope was proclaiming the departure of his people in ten days' time upon every blank wall. So he gave himself a little latitude, he let in an undercurrent of gentle reminiscence, of serious assurance as to the difference she had made. And when he had finally bade her begone to the light and fulness of her own life and fastened up his letter, he deliberately ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... some sullen undercurrent of intense feeling drove these eddying foam bells of flattery into the stream of conversation; or was her reply merely a chance ricochet shot, more accurately ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... notice of him—I got more and more light-hearted; which was natural enough, seeing that what I was doing in itself interested me and so made the time pass quickly, and that I had also a great swelling undercurrent of hope as I thought of what my slow-going work would bring me to in ...
— In the Sargasso Sea - A Novel • Thomas A. Janvier

... ever before. Protests of princes, actions of legislative assemblies, [5] protests sometimes of bishops, [6] the failing allegiance of men of affairs, the increasing condemnation and ridicule from laymen and scholars—all signs of a strong undercurrent of public opinion—seemed to have no effect on those responsible for the ...
— THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION • ELLWOOD P. CUBBERLEY

... ourselves, and of realising its forward movement as the ultimate determining factor in all true healthful mental action, it will become second nature to us to have all our plans, down to the apparently most trivial, so floating upon the undercurrent of this Universal Intelligence that a great harmony will come into our lives, every discordant manifestation will disappear, and we shall find ourselves more and more controlling all things into ...
— The Hidden Power - And Other Papers upon Mental Science • Thomas Troward

... undercurrent of melancholy, of sadness, the same hint of pain colored his words,—a subtle matter of inflection, of tone. The shadowy expression of some inner conflict hovered in his dark eyes. Again Hollister felt that indefinable urge of sympathy ...
— The Hidden Places • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... undercurrent of meaning in all this of which each man present was fully aware. Unziar was presumed to have very strong private reasons to propitiate rather than to offend the powerful Minister. But this happened to be a typical instance in which the interests ...
— A Modern Mercenary • Kate Prichard and Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard

... had settled into a steady drizzle when McDowell left the Shack at two o'clock. Keith watched the iron man, as his tall, gray figure faded away into the mist down the slope, with a curious undercurrent of emotion. Before the inspector had come up as his guest he had, he thought, definitely decided his future action. He would go west on his furlough, write McDowell that he had decided not to reenlist, ...
— The River's End • James Oliver Curwood

... known his fate at once. But who knows when Noel fell in love? She was—one supposes—just ready for that sensation. For the last two years she had been at one of those high-class finishing establishments where, in spite of the healthy curriculum, perhaps because of it, there is ever an undercurrent of interest in the opposing sex; and not even the gravest efforts to eliminate instinct are quite successful. The disappearance of every young male thing into the maw of the military machine put a premium on instinct. The ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... pellet, very stubborn and indissoluble, there in his heart ... the knowledge that, alighting, at the end he would have to face that little black smudge; that he would have to meet Dolly's cheerful greeting with its subtle, plaintive undercurrent, and the faint ...
— The Trimming of Goosie • James Hopper

... Ewbert said, "Oh, yes," as if he recognized it, and went on from it upon the line of thought which it suggested. He was aware of talking rationally and forcibly; but in the subjective undercurrent paralleling his objective thought he was holding discourse with himself to an effect wholly different from ...
— A Pair of Patient Lovers • William Dean Howells

... decide," said Gwendolen, walking to the writing-table and seating herself. All the while there was a busy undercurrent in her, like the thought of a man who keeps up a dialogue while he is considering how he can slip away. Why should she not let him come? It bound her to nothing. He had been to Leubronn after her: of course he meant a direct unmistakable renewal of the suit which before had been only implied. ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... he told Polly, an undercurrent of complaint at the unfairness of things in his tale. And ...
— The Turtles of Tasman • Jack London

... it was Mr. LOCKE'S idea to present a very ordinary decent sort with the common man's prejudices and frank distrust of subtleties. A sinister mystery of love, death and blackmail runs, a turbid undercurrent, through the story. The publisher's pathetic apology for the drab grey paper on which, in the interests of War Economy, the book is printed, makes one wonder how the other publishers who still issue books in black and white ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Oct. 3, 1917 • Various

... said, with a superficial archness which did not half cover an undercurrent of reproach, 'do you know, I think you might have told me voluntarily about that past—of kisses and betrothing—without giving me so much uneasiness and trouble. Was that the tomb you alluded to as having ...
— A Pair of Blue Eyes • Thomas Hardy

... you ridiculous creature, why won't you take us seriously?" laughed Julia, but her voice still held an undercurrent of wistfulness. "Does the fact that we are twins have ...
— Grace Harlowe's Problem • Jessie Graham Flower

... that had already started from Allahabad, and boasted how easily they would eat up the Feringhees. It seemed, however, to Bathurst that a good deal of this confidence was assumed, and that among some, at least, there was an undercurrent of doubt and uneasiness, though they talked as loudly and boldly as ...
— Rujub, the Juggler • G. A. Henty

... with hungry German officers and men; every hotel room was occupied, and provision shops speedily sold out the stores on their shelves. The Germans paid in cash for everything ordered, and preserved a careful attitude of nonaggression toward the citizens. But subconsciously there ran an undercurrent of dread insecurity. At the outset a German officer was said to have been struck by a sniper's bullet. Somewhat conspicuously the wounded officer was borne on a litter through the streets, followed by the dead body of his assailant. Very promptly a news curtain was drawn down around the city, ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume III (of 12) - The War Begins, Invasion of Belgium, Battle of the Marne • Francis J. Reynolds, Allen L. Churchill, and Francis Trevelyan

... when the play was deepest and while long-inherited family manors passed out of the hands of their owners. The recent French victory at Fontenoy still rankled in the heart of every Englishman. Within, the country seethed with an undercurrent of unrest and dissatisfaction. It was said that there were those who boasted quietly among themselves over their wine that the sun would yet rise some day on a Stuart England, that there were desperate men still willing to risk their lives in blind loyalty or in the gambler's spirit for the race ...
— A Daughter of Raasay - A Tale of the '45 • William MacLeod Raine

... bottom. Beranger guided his pony to a winding path that led down the steep side of the valley, already hearing the cadence of a loud, chanting voice, throwing out its sounds over the assembly, whence arose assenting hums over an undercurrent of sobs, as though the excitable French assembly were ...
— The Chaplet of Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... of his mind there ran an undercurrent of thought, or as of some one talking, to the effect that the Pope's old method of remaining as a prisoner in the Vatican was a foolish and unhumble pose. (He supposed he must have read it all somewhere in history.) Surely even Catholics used to talk like that! They used ...
— Dawn of All • Robert Hugh Benson

... look for this, and to receive it with an answering glance from his own dark eyes, full of a strange light and power. She, watching him more keenly than her father could, was conscious of something that altogether escaped him, a sort of undercurrent of suppressed excitement which never rose to the surface, and revealed itself in none of his mannerisms or his tone. But it was there, and she felt it—felt it more than ever when their eyes met, and hers were forced to droop before the steady fire in his, which more than once ...
— The New Tenant • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... of the song," explained Lancelot; "a sort of undercurrent of emotion that brings out the full pathos of the words. Note the elegant and novel harmonies." He played another bar or ...
— The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes • Israel Zangwill

... a new experience to her to contrast him with Hugh, and to learn to analyze the new feeling which suffused her being,—that deep, undercurrent which lies beneath all surface ...
— Dawn • Mrs. Harriet A. Adams

... stubbed his foot against a sharp stone on the mountain-path. And yet, if Browning invented a harsh speech of his own far common use, he uttered it in all the varied rhythms of genius and passion. There may often be no music in the individual words, but there is always in the poems as a whole a deep undercurrent of music as from some hidden river. His poems have the movement of living things. They are lacking only in smooth and static loveliness. They are full of the hoof-beats ...
— Old and New Masters • Robert Lynd

... The proof of an undercurrent of water, due to the presence of the high range of mountains, becomes more apparent as the traveller advances into the interior; though the soil is still sandy and barren, and little vegetation can ...
— A Narrative of Captivity in Abyssinia - With Some Account of the Late Emperor Theodore, - His Country and People • Henry Blanc

... week of it in New York—copying out instructions, taking notes of marriages and intermarriages in 1690, and writing each day a long, pleading letter to Bessie. There was a double strain upon me: all the arrangements for my client's claims, and in an undercurrent the arguments to overcome Bessie's decision, went on in my brain side ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 30. September, 1873 • Various

... was meditating. It was a mighty unpleasant business. But he was getting tired of conflict. There was an undercurrent in the lives of both that made him shrink from going deep into any domestic difference. It was ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... an introduction seemed to be imminent, the American effaced himself. Other men in the hotel were not like that—they rather sought the great man's company. She wondered if Bower had noticed it. Despite his candid, almost generous, disclaimer of motive, there was an undercurrent of hostility in his words that suggested a feeling of pique. She climbed the rocky path in silence until ...
— The Silent Barrier • Louis Tracy

... almost lost in the viewports when a sort of upswept tempo began to run through the ship, an undercurrent of increased activity. Cargo was checked, inventoried and strapped in. Ringg was given four extra men to help him, made an extra tour of the ship, and came back buzzing like a frantic cricket. Bart's computers told him they were forging toward the sidereal location assigned for the first of the ...
— The Colors of Space • Marion Zimmer Bradley

... as though in jest, held an undercurrent of meaning for Diana that sent the colour flying up under her clear skin. There was a bitter taunt in them that none knew better ...
— The Splendid Folly • Margaret Pedler

... may be thrown; his vast strength, his redundant health, had a power of themselves—a moral as well as physical power. He naturally possessed high animal spirits, beneath the surface of which, however, at times, there was visible a certain undercurrent of malignity and scorn. He had evidently received a superior education, and could command at will the manner of a man not unfamiliar with a politer class of society. From the first hour that Philip had seen him on ...
— Night and Morning, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... train, through all the other contending thoughts in Mrs. Lidcote's mind there ran the warm undercurrent of what Franklin Ide had wanted to say ...
— Autres Temps... - 1916 • Edith Wharton

... the receding waves for their lives. Tite's first thought was to secure the boat, and seizing hold of the line he made a desperate effort to gain the beach, and was successful, as were two of the men. The others were too weak to make much of a resistance, and were carried away by the undercurrent, and nothing ...
— The Von Toodleburgs - Or, The History of a Very Distinguished Family • F. Colburn Adams

... asked the young man, shrugging his shoulders with careless indifference. "Rapid undercurrent, you know. A good many ...
— The Ape, the Idiot & Other People • W. C. Morrow

... regarded by many in his lifetime as a coarse, hard, practical man, full of prejudices, there was yet a strong undercurrent of poetry in his nature; and, while he declaimed against sentiment, there were few men more thoroughly imbued with sentiment of the best kind. He had the tenderest regard for the character of woman. ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... and women and crystallized her experiences into sparkling little sentences and epigrams which made Frances feel as if she were listening to one of the witty people in clever books. But under all her sparkling wit there was a strongly felt undercurrent of true womanly sympathy and kind-heartedness which won affection as speedily as her brilliance won admiration. Frances listened and laughed and enjoyed. Once she found time to think that she would have missed a great deal if she had not come to Bay Shore Farm that day. Surely talking ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1904 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... "An undercurrent of sympathy with the struggles of the poor, and an ability to describe their feelings, eminently characteristic of Dickens, are marked features in Mr. ...
— Tales of Daring and Danger • George Alfred Henty

... The wearing of it would have added so much to her pleasure. However, the thought of it, and of the new dress that was to be sent up in the morning, ran through her mind all that afternoon, like a happy undercurrent. She said so once, when Phil asked her what she was smiling about ...
— The Little Colonel's Chum: Mary Ware • Annie Fellows Johnston

... himself upon his adventure, was a certain pestering consciousness that all was not so well with him as observers might guess. But he resolutely put this away each time it threatened to overwhelm him. He would cross no bridge until he came to it. He even combated this undercurrent of sanity by wording part of an interview with himself some day to appear ...
— Merton of the Movies • Harry Leon Wilson

... A forced conversation of a curiously impersonal sort dragged from course to course. Absolute strangers would have exhibited less restraint; for the ghost of an old comradeship made the fourth at the feast and prated to them in exiguous voice of paths that had diverged. Drake noticed, besides, an undercurrent of antagonism between Conway and Mallinson. He inquired what each had been ...
— The Philanderers • A.E.W. Mason

... of the wind and the sea and the clean light of the forenoon, there was a sadness about the place, and an undercurrent of uneasy silence that the rustling of the leaves and the noise of the surf only seemed to accentuate. It was like the silence that falls about a table when the guests have left it, and the chairs are empty ...
— The Unspeakable Gentleman • John P. Marquand

... Wheeler had rushed past into the house. Miss Rosetta composedly stepped into the cab and drove to the station. She fairly bridled with triumph; and underneath the triumph ran a queer undercurrent of satisfaction over the fact that Charlotte had spoken to her at last. Miss Rosetta would not look at this satisfaction, or give it a name, but ...
— Further Chronicles of Avonlea • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... to detect that curious undercurrent of meaning in his voice which I had noticed in the course of our brief exchange of remarks in the hall. I glanced up and met his eye. He was looking at me in a way that struck me as curious. There was something in those bright brown eyes of his which had the effect of making me vaguely uneasy. Something ...
— The Little Nugget • P.G. Wodehouse

... is always looking for trouble when the elephant is around, so he can be pulled out!" returned Danvers, in the same strain; yet with the undercurrent of affection that always crept into his tone when speaking ...
— A Man of Two Countries • Alice Harriman

... there was yet time, the radical remedy, Reform, patiently turning, when that was refused, to palliatives like mutual free trade in 1785 and the Catholic franchise in 1793; and meanwhile, with an undercurrent of cool scepticism, preparing the ground for the only alternative to Reform, short of a revolutionary separation of the two countries, legislative Union, and remorselessly pushing that Union through by the only available ...
— The Framework of Home Rule • Erskine Childers

... month. Thus to imprisonment was added the gall and wormwood of total dependence upon others; the unthinkable prospect of parting with Paul, with the Border itself—with everything that had hitherto made life worth living; and, worse than all, the undercurrent of striving to ignore that veiled danger, which he refused to name, even in his thoughts, and which lay like ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... ever since she had last seen her. She seemed to be in a perpetual brown study, which was compatible, however, with a curious watchfulness which struck Cicely particularly. She was always aware of any undercurrent in the room—of anyone going in or out—of persons passing in the road. At lunch she scarcely opened her lips, but Cicely was all the time conscious of being observed. After luncheon Bridget got up abruptly, and said she was going down to Grasmere ...
— Missing • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... her." And a propos of Miss Mayjar, an evangelical lady who is a little too apt to talk of her visits to sick women and the state of their souls, we are told that the model clergyman is "not one to disallow, through the super crust, the undercurrent toward good in the subject, or the positive benefits, nevertheless, to the object." We imagine the double-refined accent and protrusion of chin which are feebly represented by the italics in this lady's sentences! We abstain from quoting any of her oracular doctrinal ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... she cried out in her heart for God to punish old Gordon's sin from generation to generation—meaning that young Gordon should suffer for the sins of his father. Yet through her torture and the burning anger of her prayer ran a silent undercurrent, a voiceless call for mercy upon her and upon all she loved, her father ...
— A Young Man in a Hurry - and Other Short Stories • Robert W. Chambers

... poor—sometimes they were upon the verge of despair—yet through all there was an undercurrent of happiness that nothing could destroy—they had each other and even at the worst they still dreamed the dream of the Valley of the Many-Colored Grass, even though the heartsease blossom ...
— The Dreamer - A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe • Mary Newton Stanard

... sinister undercurrent of antagonism against the Quirt could not whip her emotions into feeling that she was doing anything more than live the restricted, sordid little life of a poorly equipped ranch. She had ridden once with Frank Johnson to look through a bunch of cattle, but it had been nothing more than a hot, thirsty, ...
— Sawtooth Ranch • B. M. Bower



Words linked to "Undercurrent" :   sea-poose, tide, sea-puss, meaning, sea puss, undertow, undertide, sea purse, stream



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