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Undercurrent   /ˈəndərkˌərənt/   Listen
Undercurrent

noun
1.
A subdued emotional quality underlying an utterance; implicit meaning.  Synonym: undertone.
2.
A current below the surface of a fluid.  Synonym: undertide.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Undercurrent" Quotes from Famous Books



... had spoken quietly, but with an undercurrent of bitterness that saddened Betty. For the first time she saw a shadow of pain in his eyes. She looked away down the valley, not seeing the brown and gold hills boldly defined against the blue sky, nor ...
— Betty Zane • Zane Grey

... famous headings, like those of the New York papers on a balloon marriage, as, The last affinity item! A raid among the magnetisms! or, Hifalutin among prunes! However, in some subtile way, one soon divines on entering a store whether she is to be well served there, and must follow with tact the undercurrent in the shop as well as in the salon. If it be not the right encounter, ask for something there is not, and pass on to the next. Thus, "my grocer" apologizes for keeping honey, because I do not ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866 • Various

... Ireland awakens feelings somewhat different from those the sinking of the Titanic had called up on two continents. The grief for the lost and the sympathy for the survivors and the bereaved are the same; but there is not, and there cannot be, the same undercurrent of indignation. The good ship that is gone (I remember reading of her launch something like eight years ago) had not been ushered in with beat of drum as the chief wonder of the world of waters. The company who owned her had no agents, ...
— Notes on Life and Letters • Joseph Conrad

... Mr. Merrick, "that there is always this raspy feeling when the English meet Americans. On the surface we're friendly enough and our governments always express in diplomatic relations the most cordial good will; but I've always noticed in the English individual an undercurrent of antipathy for Americans that cannot be disguised. As a race the English hate us, I'm positive, ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces in the Red Cross • Edith Van Dyne

... didn't break. It just slid. It was only the second wave that broke—curled over in that curious way. For our theory—which may be entirely wrong—is that the breaking is due to the undertow of previous waves. After a wave sprawls up on the beach, it runs swiftly back. This receding undercurrent—you can feel it very strongly if you are swimming just in front of a large wave about to break—digs in beneath the advancing hill of water. It cuts away the foundations of that hill, which naturally topples over at ...
— Pipefuls • Christopher Morley

... shipments of tobacco, and the returns required in various articles for household and personal use, are perfect models for a man of business. And this may be remarked throughout his whole career, that no pressure of events nor multiplicity of cares prevented a clear, steadfast, undercurrent of attention to domestic affairs, and the interest and well-being ...
— The Life of George Washington, Volume I • Washington Irving

... Carlyle was now launched upon his life-work as "a writer of books." He translated Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister," for which he received L180. I do not see the transcendent excellence of this novel, except in its original and forcible criticism, and its undercurrent of philosophy; but it is nevertheless famous. These two works gave Carlyle some literary reputation among ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... womanhood is strong and deep. The manifestations of the present, many of which seem to give cause for fear, are, after all, only the superficial evidence of a deep undercurrent of awakening. The ultimate driving force behind is shaping a social understanding in the woman's spirit. So surely from out of the wreckage and passion a ...
— The Truth About Woman • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... 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 she no longer ...
— Futurist Stories • Margery Verner Reed

... his mind was an undercurrent of disgust—with himself, with Jeff, with the whole situation. Why had he ever let himself get mixed up with such an outfit? Government by the people! The thing was idiotic, mere demagogic cant. Power was to the strong. He had always known it. But ...
— The Vision Spendid • William MacLeod Raine

... his cruel ferocity and coldness there was an undercurrent of something in Tars Tarkas which he seemed ever battling to subdue. Could it be a vestige of some human instinct come back from an ancient forbear to haunt him with the ...
— A Princess of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... 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 Pirate City - An Algerine Tale • R.M. Ballantyne

... expedition came to grief. The cable was running out freely at the rate of six miles per hour, while the ship was making only four. This was supposed to be owing to a powerful undercurrent. To check this waste of the cable the engineer applied the brakes firmly, which at once stopped the machine. The effect was to bring a heavy strain on the cable that was in the water. The stern of the ship was down in the trough of the sea, and as it rose upward ...
— Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made • James D. McCabe, Jr.

... 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 ...
— The Hidden Places • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... an undercurrent of pensive thought was flowing in the old scholar's soul and his tones grew tenderer and tenderer. The echoes of Ebenezer's effusive speech were in his ears and the artificial notes rang strangely genuine. All round him sat happy fathers of happy children, men who warmed their hands at ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... meant sweet sleep at night, and new strength at the day's beginning. It did not mean any less work. It did seem to mean less friction, less dust. Aye, it meant better work, for there was a swing to it, and a joyous abandon in it, and a rhythm of music with it. And the undercurrent of thought came to be like this: There is a Lord to the harvest. He is taking care of things. My part is full, faithful, intelligent obedience to Him. He is a Master, a masterful One. He is organizing victory. And the fine tingle of victory was ...
— Quiet Talks on Service • S. D. Gordon

... member of the crew of the Island Princess, bound for Canton with a cargo of woolen goods and ginseng. There was much that puzzled me aboard-ship—the discontent of the second mate, the perversity of the man Kipping (others besides myself had seen that wink), and a certain undercurrent of pessimism. But although I was separated a long, long way from my old friends in the cabin, I felt that in Bill Hayden I had found a friend of a sort; then, as I began my first real watch on deck at sea, I fell to thinking of ...
— The Mutineers • Charles Boardman Hawes

... a cold, dignified tone of hauteur, as it was her bounden duty to speak; but, nevertheless, she was conscious of an undercurrent of feeling, whispering that, under other auspices, the avowal would have brought to her ...
— East Lynne • Mrs. Henry Wood

... upon the mother's broad back, and the hum of excitement at the departure subsided into the normal undercurrent of whispering between the pupils. Pencils scratched laboriously over rough manila pads as their owners copied the questions from the board. The boy two seats ahead of John took a wad of chewing gum from his mouth ...
— A Son of the City - A Story of Boy Life • Herman Gastrell Seely

... voice grew more intense, as if behind it there was an undercurrent of broken sobs, "Elsa, what is the matter? You are not going to turn your back on me, are you? Look at me, Elsa! look at me! You wouldn't do it, would you . . . you wouldn't do it? . . . The Lord forgive me, but I love you, Elsa . . . I love you ...
— A Bride of the Plains • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... one would naturally suppose. Yet it seems that an undercurrent has set in against us. I fear that I made a mistake," he added, gloomily, "in agreeing with Lord Vernon not to proceed further for a week, though, under the circumstances, I could scarcely refuse. He seems well enough," and he glanced ...
— Affairs of State • Burton E. Stevenson

... 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 more ...
— The Von Toodleburgs - Or, The History of a Very Distinguished Family • F. Colburn Adams

... with however vivid an array of incident, there is always a certain hardness or nakedness which repels the artistical eye. Two things are invariably required—first, some amount of complexity, or more properly, adaptation; and, secondly, some amount of suggestiveness, some undercurrent, however indefinite of meaning. It is this latter, in especial, which imparts to a work of art so much of that richness (to borrow from colloquy a forcible term) which we are too fond of confounding with the ideal. It is ...
— Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works • Edgar Allan Poe

... de Sambre et Meuse, which has been France's most popular parade piece since Napoleon's day. As rendered now it had all the crash of bugle fanfares which is its dominant feature, but an additional undercurrent of saxaphones and basses that put a new and more ...
— History of the American Negro in the Great World War • W. Allison Sweeney

... been hell for her. We had wandered fruitlessly over the red sands all day, both of us listening for the clicks of the counter. And the geigers had been obstinately hushed all day, except for their constant undercurrent of meaningless noises. ...
— The Hunted Heroes • Robert Silverberg

... waded in and dived down into the deep undercurrent of causes, that strange deep that ...
— Samantha at the World's Fair • Marietta Holley

... 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 ...
— The Colors of Space • Marion Zimmer Bradley

... were looking at each other, waiting for breeze or undercurrent to move one vessel faster than the other and separate them, a general palaver began. Leaning over the side, but holding each other off at a respectable distance with their long wooden props, like besieged pikemen repelling an assault, they began to chat about ...
— An Iceland Fisherman • Pierre Loti

... for centuries these peaceful resorts, where cultivated, scholarly men, and women of fine sensibilities, could find rest from the struggles of the outside world. The sisters, who managed this large establishment, seemed happy in the midst of their severe and multifarious duties. Of the undercurrent of their lives I could not judge, but on the surface all seemed smooth and satisfactory. They evidently took great pleasure in the society of each other. Every evening, from six to eight, they all sat in the gardens ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... with such strange and immediate favor that I quite forbore to consult with my friends in regard to it. I resolved to go on the instant, and wrote my friend Mary to that effect, congratulating her, with an undercurrent of mischievous intention, on having been the happy means of setting my powers drifting in the right direction at last; and reproached her gently with having seemed to imply, once, in her letter, some occult reason why ...
— Cape Cod Folks • Sarah P. McLean Greene

... This was 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

... "onto" the situation, for the whole secret of the man's sudden rise lay in his capacity for knowing and keeping track of every current and undercurrent of life in each department. With Miss Stein at their head, her five assistants would not put the energy of one into disposing of the hated stock, therefore Meggison had sent an "extra." He had chosen a new girl because she ...
— Winnie Childs - The Shop Girl • C. N. Williamson

... how large a literature has grown up around this small place—but indeed, the number of monographs dealing with every one of these little Italian towns is a ceaseless source of surprise. Look below the surface and you will find, in all of them, an undercurrent of keen spirituality—a nucleus of half a dozen widely read and thoughtful men, who foster the best traditions of the mind. You will not find them in the town council or at the cafe. No newspapers commend their labours, no millionaires ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... 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 ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 30. September, 1873 • Various

... altogether its own, which wins one's love, though it does not startle one into admiration like that of the Hawaiian gulches. Is it because that, though the magic of novelty is over it, there is a perpetual undercurrent of home resemblance? The dash of its musical waters might be in Cumberland; its swelling uplands, with their clumps of trees, might be in Kent; and then again, steep, broken, wooded ridges, with glades of grass, suggest the Val Moutiers; and broader sweeps of mountain outline, the finest ...
— The Hawaiian Archipelago • Isabella L. Bird

... He carries a long spear. In silence the knight un-helms, and, sticking the spear into the ground, kneels before it, and remains lost in devotional contemplation. The "Spear" and "Grail" motives mingle together in the full tide of orchestral sounds carrying on the emotional undercurrent of the drama. The knight is soon recognized by both as the long-lost and ...
— Parsifal - Story and Analysis of Wagner's Great Opera • H. R. Haweis

... country seemed in some danger, and when, mere men of business held unequal to the emergency, whatever name suggested associations of vigour, eloquence, genius rose to a premium above its market price in times of tranquillity and tape. Without effort of his own, by the mere force of the undercurrent, Guy Darrell was thrown up from oblivion into note. He could not form a Cabinet, certainly not; but he might help to bring a Cabinet together, reconcile jarring elements, adjust disputed questions, ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... bubbling on the surface, of course, ran the deep and swift undercurrent of anti-slavery feeling—a tide of passion which historians now attempt to account for on economic grounds, but which showed no trace of economic origin while it lasted. Its true quality was moral, devout, ecstatic; it culminated, to change the figure, in a supreme discharge of moral electricity, ...
— A Book of Prefaces • H. L. Mencken

... did not seduce him into indiscriminate praise, did not deter him from exposing the tendency to verbiage in Burke and Jeremy Taylor, the excessive blankness of much of Wordsworth's blank verse, the undercurrent of mediocrity in Macaulay, the absurdities of Ruskin's etymology. And, as in great matters, so in small. Whatever literary production was brought under his notice, his judgment was clear, sympathetic, and independent. He had the readiest appreciation of true excellence, a quick eye for ...
— Matthew Arnold • G. W. E. Russell

... 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 as yet be seen, trees and shrubs become more ...
— A Narrative of Captivity in Abyssinia - With Some Account of the Late Emperor Theodore, - His Country and People • Henry Blanc

... 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 doing during ...
— The Philanderers • A.E.W. Mason

... was subtly conscious of an undercurrent of a most willing welcome to the hospitality of the ranch. Her surmise that the vacant place at the table was reserved for the foreman was verified by Betty who asked with ...
— Penny of Top Hill Trail • Belle Kanaris Maniates

... part or the same depth of the North Atlantic; this water is, as a rule, deficient in oxygen. The "North Sea" water, of 34 to 35 pro mille salinity, does not appear at the surface in the Skagerrak, except as a strip along part of the coast of Jutland, but it is always found as an undercurrent overlying the oceanic water. It enters into all the deep coast channels, and into the Christiania fjord, but it is not always found in the deep channels of the Kattegat. The principal time of inflow of North Sea water is during spring and summer. The bank-water of 32 to 34 pro mille salinity ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 - "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy" • Various

... a fight of men-at-arms in the Middle Ages,—derived from the graphic description of Froissart, in whose narrative there always runs an undercurrent of sly humor when portraying the military extravagances of the age. And it is impossible to avoid the contagion; for who can picture in any more serious style a hurly-burly of huge, iron-clad, suffocating, perspiring warriors, half ...
— A Midsummer Drive Through The Pyrenees • Edwin Asa Dix

... also hold good of his divinity, in fact he actually betrayed a view of Christ inconsistent with the conception of the Saviour's person as a perfect unity. We can indeed only trace this view in his writings in the form of an undercurrent, and what led to it will be discussed further on. Both he and Melito, as a rule adhered to the simple "filius dei filius hominis factus" and did not perceive any problem here, because to them the disunion prevailing in the world and in humanity was the difficult question ...
— History of Dogma, Volume 2 (of 7) • Adolph Harnack

... Lorry. Mrs. Adams had gone in. Hardy indicated that he wanted to speak to Lorry, and he included Waring in his gesture. Lorry rose and glanced quickly at Alice Weston. She was leaning forward in her chair, suddenly aware of a subtle undercurrent of seriousness. The undersheriff was patting the nose of ...
— Jim Waring of Sonora-Town - Tang of Life • Knibbs, Henry Herbert

... you like," said Helen, who felt that the boy was gaining upon her more and more: for, in spite of his coarseness, there was a frank, merry, innocent undercurrent that, she felt, might be brought to the surface, strengthened and utilised ...
— Quicksilver - The Boy With No Skid To His Wheel • George Manville Fenn

... both sentences, and a strong undercurrent of something unnamed in their tones—who wanted the pasteurized milk and distilled water of a perfectly polite form of greeting? Not Billy Louise, if one might judge from that young woman's face and voice and manner. Not Ward, though he was perfectly ...
— The Ranch at the Wolverine • B. M. Bower

... seemed a pity that it was not suitable for motoring. 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 all ...
— The Little Colonel's Chum: Mary Ware • Annie Fellows Johnston

... placed them in consecutive order—were full, brimful, of joy, of triumph and satisfaction; but in the later ones, while affection was in no way lessened, there was something of appeal—or so it seemed to her as she studied them. An undercurrent as it were of longing, a desire to make the recipient understand the depth of love—to get below the surface, to obtain some deeper expression of confidence ...
— East of the Shadows • Mrs. Hubert Barclay

... 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 ...
— The Prairie Traveler - A Hand-book for Overland Expeditions • Randolph Marcy

... 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 ...
— The Little Nugget • P.G. Wodehouse

... speeches of the crowd in the market-place were blatant enough, but there was also an unrecognized undercurrent of courage and patriotism passing with the flood that was to mean much to Germany, in days to come. The cause of the crowd was really an early form of our vital modernist democratic movement, not to be put down nor yet shut ...
— Blood and Iron - Origin of German Empire As Revealed by Character of Its - Founder, Bismarck • John Hubert Greusel

... Calabar is one of the most thrilling in the history of missions, yet through it also there runs an undercurrent of tragedy— the tragedy of unseized opportunities and unfulfilled hopes. As one reads, he can fancy that he is standing by a forest at night listening to the sound that the wind brings of a strange conflict ...
— Mary Slessor of Calabar: Pioneer Missionary • W. P. Livingstone

... 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 its way ...
— The Log of the Flying Fish - A Story of Aerial and Submarine Peril and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... as so many people do nowadays, by visual images, there will always be an undercurrent toward saying "COP." The mind plunges hopelessly through that tangle to the elements of a speech ...
— What is Coming? • H. G. Wells

... also," and that he hoped the President's "honesty and his political errors may not furnish a second occasion to exclaim, 'curse on his virtues, they've undone his country.'" Henry Lee warned Washington of the undercurrent of criticism, and when Jefferson heard indirectly of this he wrote his former chief that "I learn that [Lee] has thought it worth his while to try to sow tares between you and me, by representing me as still engaged in the bustle of politics ...
— The True George Washington [10th Ed.] • Paul Leicester Ford

... 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 ...
— Birds of the Indian Hills • Douglas Dewar

... an unexplained coolness which had sprung up between the steward and Shanghai Tom, although it was quite possible Doc was aware of something of the nature which had given Trask a sense of disquiet, this undercurrent of insincerity, of hidden meanings, of an evil spirit lurking under the friendly relations of Jarrow and Dinshaw with the trio who had come ...
— Isle o' Dreams • Frederick F. Moore

... broken fortunes, his dead ambitions, were a cruel burden to the heart of a girl who had believed that he possessed "genius," and supposed that genius was to one's spiritual economy what full pockets were to one's domestic. And yet, with her, Rowland never felt, as with Mrs. Hudson, that undercurrent of reproach and bitterness toward himself, that impertinent implication that he had defrauded her of happiness. Was this justice, in Miss Garland, or was it mercy? The answer would have been difficult, for she had almost let Rowland feel before leaving Rome that ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... to all his children. There were good horses in the Whitney stables now, and no question of making shift to let the house in Belgrave Square for the season, while the amiable nobleman's banking-account showed a far from despicable balance. And consciousness of this last fact formed an agreeable undercurrent to his every thought. Therefore was he even more than usually garrulous according to his ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... be worn for three full weeks or a 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 a millstone upon ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... 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 passages, ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... fingers worked on, his thoughts were somewhere else, and that he saw another face as he mixed his colors, and not that of the siren before him. Or it may have been that, as he looked into the eyes of the Countess, he saw too deeply into the whirlpool of passion and pain which made up the undercurrent in ...
— The Fortunes of Oliver Horn • F. Hopkinson Smith

... energy, full of the joy of being alive, but there was usually an undercurrent of sadness to all this. While on the road I would feel homesick for New York, and at the same time I would feel that I had no home anywhere, that my mother was dead and I was all alone ...
— The Rise of David Levinsky • Abraham Cahan

... days were passing and Mary-Clare and Northrup, with the book between them as a shield, fought their battle and won their victory, they had taken small heed of the undercurrent that was not merely carrying them on, but ...
— At the Crossroads • Harriet T. Comstock

... full. With a supreme effort of will, she subdued her inclination to unrestrained despair; with complete disregard of the acute pain in her head, she became gay, light-hearted, irresponsible, joyous. There was an undercurrent of suffering in her simulated mirth, but Perigal did not notice it; he was taken by surprise at the sudden change in her mood. He responded to her supposititious merriment; he laughed and joked as irrepressibly ...
— Sparrows - The Story of an Unprotected Girl • Horace W. C. Newte

... which lurks a subtle undercurrent of pathos, like that in Sophie Arnould's exclamation in ...
— Horace • Theodore Martin

... after her. Though Francis Madigan rarely ate anything that was prepared for the family dinner, she could remember the rare times when he had absented himself from it, and feel again the usually ignored undercurrent of the realities upon which their young ...
— The Madigans • Miriam Michelson

... 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 ...
— A Pair of Blue Eyes • Thomas Hardy

... grandparents, however, the undercurrent of anxiety about the old people, which was a ruling motive in her life, ...
— Turn About Eleanor • Ethel M. Kelley

... 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

... Mackenzie had mixed in a fight, and the best that had gone before was nothing more than a harmless spat compared to this. The marvel of it was how he had developed this quality of defense in inactivity. There must have been some psychological undercurrent carrying strength and skill to him through all the years of his romantic imaginings; the spirits of old heroes of that land must have lent him their counsel and might in that desperate battle with ...
— The Flockmaster of Poison Creek • George W. Ogden

... the province has been free from the murderous outrages and dacoities which have been so lamentable a feature of the unrest in Bengal and in the Deccan. None the less there is still a very strong undercurrent of anti-British feeling. It has partly been fostered in the large cities by Bengalee immigrants who have come into the Punjab in considerable numbers, and thanks to their higher education have acquired great influence at the Bar and in the Press, but it is rife wherever the Arya Samaj is known ...
— Indian Unrest • Valentine Chirol

... radiated from him, there was a very naive, fatuous quality to this strange ruler. Or at least, Don and I thought so now. As the details of his plot against our Earth world unfolded to us, what we could do to circumvent him ran like an undercurrent across the background of our consciousness. He knew nothing, or almost nothing of our Earth weapons. What conditions would govern this unprecedented warfare into which he was plunging—of all that he was ...
— The White Invaders • Raymond King Cummings

... rising to its fullest pitch of lyrical intensity, lends a poignant charm to the work of Tasso and Guarini. For everywhere in these soft melodies of luscious beauty, even in the studied sketches of primitive innocence itself, there is an undercurrent of ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... 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 ...
— A Daughter of Raasay - A Tale of the '45 • William MacLeod Raine

... as school trustee expired. At the first meeting of the new board, Miss Wilton's position was given to a male teacher. The reason given for the change was that "It takes a man to govern boys." Other reasons, however, could be heard in the undercurrent of talk. ...
— Added Upon - A Story • Nephi Anderson

... intention on the part of A. G. Spalding and his confreres to let me get possession of the club. It was not until several men who had promised to aid me backed down squarely that I realized that there was an undercurrent at work, and that the option, which it was often denied at that time that I had, had been given to me in bad faith and just for the purpose of letting me down easily, but when once convinced that such was really the case I gave up making any further ...
— A Ball Player's Career - Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson • Adrian C. Anson

... ruffle heard, or a rumor sounded, of what was in store for that industrious little community. We were living in the bonds of fellowship with all mankind, and we had no fear. But in all that stillness there was an undercurrent at work that would soon make itself felt. Dissatisfaction on account of grievances, real or fancied, was blowing. It had broken out in one place, why should it not in another. This disaffected spirit was prevalent in all parts of that country. Who was to blame? who was the cause? ...
— Two months in the camp of Big Bear • Theresa Gowanlock and Theresa Delaney

... The 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 room ...
— Undertow • Kathleen Norris

... altered at my lord's rather quiet and abrupt appearance, crystallized into an impersonal icy light, colder even than the nobleman's own stony stare. He had, perforce, to endure the other's presence and conversation, an undercurrent to the light talk of the girl who seemed, Lord Ronsdale thought, a little maliciously aware of the constraint between the two men, and not at all put ...
— Half A Chance • Frederic S. Isham

... motive of his suicide, unless, indeed, he was mad or drunk at the time. And then I began to wonder whether anything about his life had come out on the inquest—anything concerning habits, associates, and connections. Had there been any other undercurrent, besides betting, in his life brought out in evidence, which might help me to a ...
— The Uninhabited House • Mrs. J. H. Riddell

... to city, playing the piano in a manner no other has been able to imitate, although Chopin's playing, it is said, had much the same effect upon the audiences. In Paderewski's playing as in his composition there is always an undercurrent deeply sad and weird. No one but a genius from the martyred land of Poland, or from some other that had equally suffered, could play as Chopin and Paderewski played or could compose music such as they composed. ...
— Winning a Cause - World War Stories • John Gilbert Thompson and Inez Bigwood

... nobody and nothing but themselves, would be perfectly easy in me if I were to make the watchword of my house, 'Never mind what people say.' On the contrary, I shall teach them that there are plenty of good people in the world; that public opinion has pretty surely an undercurrent of the water of life, below all its froth and garbage; and that in a Christian country like this, where, with all faults, a man (sooner or later) has fair play and a fair hearing, the esteem of good men, and the blessings ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... Independence, he could tell us of the outspoken and constant sympathy of Chatham, Burke, Fox, Walpole, and their like, with the American cause—which they counted the English cause. He could tell of the deep undercurrent of favor among the English people, which the superficial course of power belied and at last ceased to control, in our earlier vital war as ...
— London Films • W.D. Howells

... about a small table which stood in the center of the reception hall, and even Evelyn sensed the undercurrent of tenseness in the air. Her tongue became reluctantly still although she did break in once with a triumphant—"Ain't he like I told you ...
— Midnight • Octavus Roy Cohen

... varied and beautiful, we thought if our only object in setting out had been a drive, we could not have chosen one more charming. The weather was fine, and dear Mrs. Prentiss in her happiest mood. As for me, nothing marred my enjoyment but fear that the fatigue would be too much for her, and an undercurrent of anxiety lest by some mishap we should fail to re-arrive at the home-station in time to meet our husbands who would be waiting for us. But if she had any such misgivings nothing in word or manner betrayed it. So entire was her ...
— The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss • George L. Prentiss

... service—Duane saw that—and rugged, powerful men of iron constitution. Despite the occasional joke and sally of the more youthful members, and a general conversation of camp-fire nature, Duane was not deceived about the fact that his advent had been an unusual and striking one, which had caused an undercurrent of conjecture and even consternation among them. These rangers were too well trained to appear openly curious about their captain's guest. If they had not deliberately attempted to be oblivious of his presence Duane would have concluded ...
— The Lone Star Ranger • Zane Grey

... town on the important day, his heart was like a rock in his breast. There was glorious sunshine everywhere, and a cool little undercurrent of breezes stirred every leaf into a tiny banner of victory. Up in the square, Johnson's colored band was having a final rehearsal, while on the court-house steps the team, glorious in new uniforms, were excitedly discussing the plan of ...
— Sandy • Alice Hegan Rice

... "An undercurrent of sympathy with the struggles of the poor, and an ability to describe their feelings under various circumstances, eminently characteristic of Dickens, are marked features in Mr. Gow's ...
— Historic Boys - Their Endeavours, Their Achievements, and Their Times • Elbridge Streeter Brooks

... grip that weak little Reverend has already got on this town," he went on. "He's a sly one. Preaching ain't in it with the undercurrent he's let loose here. It's just sapping the foundations of society. It's setting free a lot of good stuff, but it's striking Tate an ...
— Joyce of the North Woods • Harriet T. Comstock

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

... either. He thought of the undercurrent in Kirk's thoughts. Kirk had been carrying a regulation book, he remembered. He contacted ...
— Final Weapon • Everett B. Cole

... there, by virtue of that temporal superfluity which, after the most detailed account of how a day has been spent, always leaves something over, that may serve as a hiding place for certain unconfessed actions), he could feel the insinuation of a possible undercurrent of falsehood which debased for him all that had remained most precious, his happiest evenings, the Rue La Perouse itself, which Odette must constantly have been leaving at other hours than those of which she told him; extending ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... and in the empire at large our misfortunes were met by a sombre but unalterable determination to carry the war to a successful conclusion and to spare no sacrifices which could lead to that end. Amid the humiliation of our reverses there was a certain undercurrent of satisfaction that the deeds of our foemen should at least have made the contention that the strong was wantonly attacking the weak an absurd one. Under the stimulus of defeat the opposition to the war sensibly decreased. It had become too absurd even for the most unreasonable platform ...
— The Great Boer War • Arthur Conan Doyle

... some time yet before the crowd warmed up. Now, they only stood about and talked, and to Lescott they gave a gravely polite greeting, beneath which was discernible an undercurrent of hostility. ...
— The Call of the Cumberlands • Charles Neville Buck

... her former cause of contention with him, her determination, sudden as her father's death, to leave the only home she possessed, was now enforced by her antagonism to the suggestion he had made of a future marriage, and he felt increasing annoyance that it should be so. Naturally enough, a deep undercurrent of vexation was settling in his mind towards her for feeling that antagonism, but he was vexed also with himself for having suggested the fresh source of contest just now to complicate the issue between them as to whether she should remain where she was, at any rate for the present. Remain she ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... fruits and glittering silver. And he grew to 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 brought ...
— The New Tenant • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... 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 ...
— Old and New Masters • Robert Lynd

... fine fruit of Mrs. Howe's early religious faith. It welled up in her nature from a deep undercurrent, which few would have suspected who only met her at Sam G. Ward's dinner parties and other fashionable entertainments. Yet, there was always a quiet reserve in her laughter, and her wittiest remarks were always followed by a corresponding seriousness of expression. Although ...
— Cambridge Sketches • Frank Preston Stearns

... with all these interesting preliminaries over, the waltz itself opens with a melody full of sentiment and almost personal in its persistent suggestion of wooing. At the same time it has a graceful swing that carries it along like an undercurrent, with rising and falling inflections, and, like the Nevin waltz, with much dainty ornamentation, as if the couple were conversing in low tones while dancing. Then there is a brilliant episode when individuals seem lost sight of in the general vividness of the scene with its gaily colored costumes ...
— The Pianolist - A Guide for Pianola Players • Gustav Kobb

... to listen. The poor soul was inefficient, and he knew it: beneath all her flow of speech ran an undercurrent of wrath against the new learning and all its works. Poverty—sheer terror of a dwindling cupboard and the workhouse to follow—drove her to plead with that which she hated worse than the plague. He heard, and all ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... flesh, must be added to the golden image of Dionysus Meilichius—the honey-sweet, if the old tradition in its completeness is to be, in spite of that sophism, our closing impression; if we are to catch, in its fulness, that deep undercurrent of horror which runs below, all through [79] this masque of spring, and realise the spectacle of that wild chase, in which Dionysus is ultimately both the hunter and ...
— Greek Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... would, Ester's thoughts seemed resolved not to stay with that first chapter of John—they roved all over New York, visited all the places that she had seen, and a great many that she wanted to see, and that seemed beyond her grasp, going on meantime with the verses, and keeping up a disagreeable undercurrent of disgust. Over those same restless thoughts there came a tap at the ...
— Ester Ried • Pansy (aka. Isabella M. Alden)

... been very hot against bribery,—and certain members of the existing Government, when the late Bill had been passed, had expressed themselves with almost burning indignation against the crime. But, through it all, there had been a slight undercurrent of ridicule attaching itself to the question of which only they who were behind the scenes were conscious. The House was bound to let the outside world know that all corrupt practices at elections were held to be abominable by the House; but Members of the House, as individuals, knew very well what ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... should not fail to take 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 the Sargasso Sea - A Novel • Thomas A. Janvier

... sweet and rich, with an undercurrent of sadness running through that went to the heart. It seemed to wait and tremble, then float and float away, dying into softest melody. It was not the untaught music of the plantation singers; it was a voice ...
— Shapes that Haunt the Dusk • Various

... his conduct therein, I entreat thee, O candid reader (not that any reader ever is candid), to remember that he is brimful of new ideas, which, met by a deep and hostile undercurrent of old ideas, become more ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... he was shocked and distressed by the sudden and horrible disaster; and yet as an undercurrent to these first natural thoughts, there ran presently a distinct notion that he would have felt the grievousness of it more keenly had Madeleine perished in that cruel manner and her sister survived ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... as they reached the somewhat sheltering woods, there sounded from the air above them several explosions, and with them was an undercurrent of humming and droning as if from a ...
— The Khaki Boys Over the Top - Doing and Daring for Uncle Sam • Gordon Bates

... the last ten years of his life, when the seeds of hereditary consumption developed themselves. As a young man he was lively and joyous, always ready for frolic, and with a great fund of humor, especially in caricature. Students of human character know how consistent these traits are with a deep undercurrent of melancholy, which colors the whole life when the ...
— The Great German Composers • George T. Ferris

... copsewood, which entirely hid the 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

... the Servian trouble. The chief exception to this was in Austria, where unquestionably popular feeling had been powerfully excited by the murder of the Archduke and where there had been, especially in Vienna, popular manifestations in favor of war. In Russia also there was not unnaturally a strong undercurrent of popular ...
— The Evidence in the Case • James M. Beck

... sharp trot, the last leisurely uphill canter, on the bordering, leaf-strewn grass of the winding road, where the white walls and gray roof of the little house showed among the trees, that all the undercurrent seemed to center in a knot of suffocating ...
— A Fountain Sealed • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... dark undercurrent, there was a bright, shining surface. Johnson had made his ponderous contribution to letters. Francis Barney had surprised the world with "Evelina;" Horace Walpole, (son of Sir Robert) was dropping witty epigrams from ...
— The Evolution of an Empire • Mary Parmele

... glance at the intruder Meg Merrilies checked him. In a moment Hatteraick had altered his tone, and was speaking to Mannering civilly, yet still with an undercurrent of sullen suspicion which he tried to disguise under a ...
— Red Cap Tales - Stolen from the Treasure Chest of the Wizard of the North • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... ultimate unfolding was a matter of absorbing interest. Her own small triumphs as a singer paled into insignificance beside the riot of her visions for Nan's future. Nevertheless, she was sometimes conscious of an undercurrent of foreboding. Something was lacking. Had the gods, giving so much, withheld the two best ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... gallery, whence he might watch, observant and unobserved, the much talked-of debut of Gorla Mustelford, and the writing of a new chapter in the history of the fait accompli. Around him he noticed an incessant undercurrent of jangling laughter, an unending give-and-take of meaningless mirthless jest and catchword. He had noticed the same thing in streets and public places since his arrival in London, a noisy, empty interchange of chaff and laughter that he had been at a loss to ...
— When William Came • Saki

... her husband's return from his work at night, I could not but feel that it was a very happy picture of English life. Alas! that there are not larger districts where it exists! But I hope there is still much of it; and I feel that while there is an awful undercurrent of misery and sin—the latter both caused by the first and causing it—and while, on the surface, there is carelessness, and often recklessness and hardness and trifling, yet that still, in our English society, there is, between these two extremes, a strength of good mixed with baser elements, ...
— A Writer's Recollections (In Two Volumes), Volume I • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... secretary to bring some photographs for better explanation of the South American missions, went on his way, the blind man groped along the wall till he reached the General's office. He had come to the door when he felt that undercurrent of anxiety which showed itself on the white faces of the General and his assistant, who stood gazing mutely at the letter the former held. He heard the General call Father Tomasso. "Take this to Father Pietro, my son," he said. Then ...
— The City and the World and Other Stories • Francis Clement Kelley

... took a seat, and, stooping over and crossing her arms on her knees, she looked down on the floor, and appeared to fall into a sort of reverie. Her great gloomy eyes and her dark face seemed to work with some undercurrent of feeling; she sighed ...
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1995, Memorial Issue • Various

... 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 itself felt, stronger ...
— The Reason Why • Elinor Glyn

... hardly make a stroke towards the beach, which I aimed for at first, the undercurrent pulling me back and sweeping me out seaward; while, the rough water, smacking against my face, bothered me ...
— Young Tom Bowling - The Boys of the British Navy • J.C. Hutcheson

... had seen Joseph Tryan comfortably bestowed, I wrapped myself in a blanket near the boiler and presently fell asleep. But even then the figure of the old man often started before me, and a sense of uneasiness about George made a strong undercurrent to my drifting dreams. I was awakened at about eight o'clock in the morning by the engineer, who told me one of the old man's sons had been picked up and ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... very, very mixed. Curiously enough, my article on the trusts was generally accepted as bringing me forward for the Presidential nomination. Evidently what really happened was that there had been a strong undercurrent of feeling about me, and that the talk concerning the article enabled this feeling to come to the surface. I do not think it amounts to anything. It merely means that a great many people do not get the leadership they are looking for from any of the prominent men in public ...
— Theodore Roosevelt and His Times - A Chronicle of the Progressive Movement; Volume 47 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Harold Howland

... 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 ...
— Sundry Accounts • Irvin S. Cobb

... the best of which are too long to quote, are founded on scriptural themes, but his blank verse is not biblical either in mood or manner. It is the undercurrent rather than the surface of his verse which moves with a strong religious conviction. Abercrombie's images are daring and brilliant; his lines, sometimes too closely packed, glow with a dazzling intensity that is ...
— Modern British Poetry • Various

... "The tragic undercurrent but increases the charm of the pervading wit and humor of the tale, which embodies a study of character as skillful and true as anything we have lately had, but at the same time so simple and unpretentious as to be very welcome indeed amid the flood of inartistic ...
— The Indiscretion of the Duchess • Anthony Hope

... happen to the Russia! For example, the destruction of the ship and the consequent loss of life through the explosion of an infernal machine smuggled into the cargo! What confusion, what dismay, what terror! Then the poison of slow suspicion, the dull but deadly undercurrent of racial resentments, the question, growing daily more insistent, 'Who has done ...
— The Gates of Chance • Van Tassel Sutphen

... rigid because one of them was the minister of justice—of all the government functionaries the most feared and hated by anarchists, because he is most intimately associated with those too rare occasions when anarchist heads are sliced off in poor payment for anarchist crimes. This undercurrent of real tragedy—with its possibility of a crash, followed by a cloud of smoke rising slowly above the wreck of the gaily decorated ministerial box—drew out with a fine intensity the tragedy of the stage: and brought into a curious psychological coalescence the barbarisms ...
— The Christmas Kalends of Provence - And Some Other Provencal Festivals • Thomas A. Janvier

... time had gone by. It was plain that in these latter years they had become familiar with all manner of shameful crimes. But at the very moment that I was exalting my advantage and joying in it in secret, there was a muddy undercurrent of discomfort "riling" the deeps of my happiness, and that was—the having to hear my name bandied about in familiar connection with those of such people. I grew more and more disturbed. Finally I wrote my grandmother about it. Her answer ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... a cold evening in early December, and there seemed to be an undercurrent of excitement in the Jarvis household. The table was spread in the dining-room with the best silver and linen. Mrs. Jarvis was better, and had even been able to go into the kitchen to superintend the ...
— Good Cheer Stories Every Child Should Know • Various

... home in their sober intimacy that had yet an undercurrent of that rushing river of life, Marietta turned suddenly ...
— Country Neighbors • Alice Brown

... volumes, however, of "Twice Told Tales,"—the second published two years later,—the tragical element only appears as an undercurrent of pathos in such stories as "The Gentle Boy," "Wakefield," "The Maypole of Merry-mount," and "The Haunted Mind," but reaches a climax in "The Ambitious Guest" and "Lady Eleanor's Mantle." There are others, like "Lights from a Steeple," ...
— The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne • Frank Preston Stearns

... that beneath her surface strength of character there flowed a gracious undercurrent ...
— Beasts and Super-Beasts • Saki

... members of the family were entirely ignored. Mrs. Scott immediately bristled up and with much warmth of feeling said that she had noticed the omission and believed that the action of the Archbishop was premeditated. Just here was an undercurrent which as an intimate friend of the family I fully understood. After Virginia Scott's death at the Georgetown Convent Mrs. Scott was most outspoken in her denunciation of the Roman Catholic Church, which she felt had robbed ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur



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



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