beneath


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beneath the salt

In or at a position of low or common standing, rank, regard, or repute. The term is derived from the social hierarchy of nobility in medieval times, in which salt, a precious commodity then, was set in the middle of the dining table. Those of high noble rank were seated "above the salt," that is, closer to the lord and lady of the house, while those in lower social standing were seated "beneath" it. Robert's tech firm bankrupted last month, so I guess he's back to sitting beneath the salt with us again. I know it makes me a snob, but I just consider these big summer blockbusters to be rather beneath the salt.
See also: beneath, salt

marry beneath (oneself)

To marry someone who is of a lower social class or standing than oneself. A: "I hear that Mr. Sullivan plans to marry a local fishmonger's daughter." B: "Why would a man of his esteem marry beneath himself like that?" Janet has a bright future with one of the best law firms in town, so it's beyond me why she's marrying beneath herself with some fast food worker.
See also: beneath, marry

slip beneath the/(one's) radar

To go unnoticed or undetected (by someone). With so many different amendments to the bill being made, some appropriations slipped beneath the radar. As the manager of this office, it's inexcusable that you allowed embezzlement by an employee to slip beneath your radar.
See also: beneath, radar, slip

fly beneath (the/someone's) radar

To go without being noticed, detected, or addressed. A: "Have you heard this band's latest album?" B: "I didn't even know it was out, it must have flown beneath my radar." Every year, the government promises to do something about the homelessness problem, yet every year it seems to fly beneath the radar.
See also: beneath, fly, radar

beneath (the/someone's) radar

Without being noticed, detected, or addressed. A: "Have you heard this band's latest album?" B: "I didn't even know it was out, it must have flown beneath my radar." Every year, the government promises to do something about the homelessness problem, yet every year it seems to slip beneath the radar again.
See also: beneath, radar

look beneath the surface

To focus on the deeper aspects of something, as opposed to the traits that are most easily identified. When you write your book reports, please look beneath the surface of the text and analyze the author's stylistic choices.
See also: beneath, look, surface

beneath contempt

Abominable. The atrocities committed by this regime are beneath contempt.
See also: beneath, contempt

beneath (one's) dignity

Said of an action that one deems inappropriate and thus would not do. Screaming at someone in public is beneath my dignity, but it sounds like not everyone feels the same way.
See also: beneath, dignity

marry beneath (one's) station

To marry someone who is of a lower social class or standing than oneself. A: "I hear that Mr. Sullivan plans to marry a local fishmonger's daughter." B: "Why would a man of his esteem marry beneath his station like that?" Janet has a bright future with one of the best law firms in town, so it's beyond me why she's marrying beneath her station with some fast food worker.
See also: beneath, marry, station

drop beneath the/(one's) radar

To go unnoticed or undetected (by one). With so many different amendments to the bill being made, some appropriations dropped beneath the radar. As the manager of this office, it's inexcusable that you allowed embezzlement by an employee to drop beneath your radar.
See also: beneath, drop, radar

below the surface

The deeper aspects of something, as opposed to the traits that are most easily identified. When you write your book reports, please look below the surface of the text and analyze the author's stylistic choices.
See also: below, surface

beneath the surface

The deeper aspects of something, as opposed to the traits that are most easily identified. When you write your book reports, please look beneath the surface of the text and analyze the author's stylistic choices.
See also: beneath, surface

let the grass grow beneath (one's) feet

To be inactive; to do nothing or stand still. Often used in the negative as an imperative, such as "don't let the grass grow beneath your feet." I used to let the grass grow beneath my feet, and I missed out on a lot of opportunities. Don't let the grass grow beneath your feet, kid. Get to work!
See also: beneath, feet, grass, grow, let

not let the grass grow beneath (one's) feet

To be continually active; to not stand still or be idle (thus giving the grass a chance to grow where you're standing). Don't let the grass grow beneath your feet, kid. Get to work! Tell them not to let the grass grow beneath their feet—I want this shed finished by the end of the day.
See also: beneath, feet, grass, grow, let, not

sit beneath the salt

To be in or at a position of low or common standing, rank, regard, or repute. The term is derived from the social hierarchy of nobility in medieval times, in which salt, a precious commodity then, was set in the middle of the dining table. Those of high noble rank were seated "above the salt," that is, closer to the lord and lady of the house, while those in lower social standing were seated "below" or "beneath" it. Robert's tech firm bankrupted last month, so I guess he's back to sitting beneath the salt with us again. I know it makes me a snob, but I just consider these big summer blockbusters to sit rather beneath the salt.
See also: beneath, salt, sit

beneath contempt

exceedingly contemptible. What you have done is beneath contempt. Your rude behavior is beneath contempt.
See also: beneath, contempt

beneath one's dignity

too rude or coarse for a polite person to do. That kind of thing is beneath my dignity, and I hope yours as well. I would have thought something like that to be beneath your dignity.
See also: beneath, dignity

beneath someone

too shameful for a polite person to do. That kind of thing is beneath Fred. I'm appalled that he did it. That sort of foul language is beneath you!

*beneath something

under something. (*Typically: be ~; sit ~.) What is that beneath the table? The cat is beneath the piano.

fall beneath something

to drop under something. The thimble fell beneath the sofa. The gift that Bob had purchased for Maggie fell beneath the wheels of a truck.
See also: beneath, fall

feel it beneath (one) (to do something)

to feel that one would be lowering oneself to do something. Tom feels it beneath him to scrub the floor. Ann feels it beneath her to carry her own luggage. I would do it, but I feel it beneath me.
See also: beneath, feel

marry below oneself

 and marry beneath oneself
Fig. to marry someone in a lower social class than oneself. He married beneath himself, but he is happy, and what more is required of a marriage? He did not want to marry beneath himself.
See also: below, marry

pin someone or something beneath (someone, something or an animal)

to trap someone or something beneath someone, an animal, or something. The mine cave-in pinned four miners beneath a beam. I held the alligator's mouth closed and pinned it beneath me.
See also: beneath, pin

beneath your dignity

of too little importance or value for you to do it.
The Latin equivalent is infra dignitatem , and the humorous abbreviation of this, infra dig , is sometimes used in informal contexts.
See also: beneath, dignity

beneath conˈtempt

very shameful or disgusting: Stealing the money was bad enough. Trying to get someone else blamed for it was beneath contempt.
See also: beneath, contempt

beˌneath somebody’s ˈdignity

(often ironic) seeming so unimportant or unpleasant that somebody thinks they are too important to do it: She considers it beneath her dignity to help with the housework now and again.
See also: beneath, dignity

below/beneath the ˈsurface

what you cannot see but can only guess at or feel: She seems very calm but beneath the surface I’m sure that she’s very upset.Beneath the surface of this beautiful city there is terrible poverty and suffering, which tourists never see.
See also: below, beneath, surface
References in classic literature ?
Cautiously he moved in the direction from which it emanated, presently coming upon a huge panther pinned beneath a fallen tree.
Tarzan put a broad shoulder beneath the bole of the tree, and as he did so his bare leg pressed against the cat's silken side, so close was the man to the great beast.
Instead I stopped close to the opposite wall beneath an overhanging mass of rock that cast a dense shadow beneath it.
So little Tarzan wriggled out from beneath the struggling mass, clutching his grisly prize close to his breast.
Teeka had come close beneath the tree and was peering upward.
Again and again she could have sworn that she felt some huge, slimy body sweep beneath her in the mysterious waters of this unknown river.
They had simply vanished into thin air, for the native he had sent to inspect the ground beneath the open window had just returned to report that there was no sign of a footstep there, and what sort of creatures were they who could have dropped that distance to the soft turf without leaving spoor?
Gahan felt the impact of a body against the keel, followed by the soft thuds of the great bodies as they struck the ground beneath.
He saw a Wieroo flap dismally above him; he saw the banks of the stream float slowly past; he heard a sudden wail upon the right-hand shore, and his heart stood still lest his ruse had been discovered; but never by a move of a muscle did he betray that aught but a cold lump of clay floated there upon the bosom of the water, and soon, though it seemed an eternity to him, the direct sunlight was blotted out, and he knew that he had entered beneath the temple.
At length I found, as it were, a crack in the stone thrice as wide as a man can jump, and in length half a spear's throw, and near this crack stood great stones blackened by fire, and beneath them broken pots and a knife of flint.
Of course, these openings which lead from contiguous pits to those beneath government buildings are always guarded, and so, while I easily came to the entrance to the pits beneath the palace which Zat Arras is occupying, I found there a Zodangan soldier on guard.
The healthy, strong-made man, who could have borne almost any fatigue of active exertion, was wasting beneath the close confinement and unhealthy atmosphere of a crowded prison.
We can choose a certain date from among them--the one to draw this date first from beneath a piece of cloth will be the first.
My brain grew dizzy with the idea of the frightful risk I had just run, and I involuntarily closed my eyes to shut out the view of the depth beneath me.
The noise appeared to be coming from beneath the rug.