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 him 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 someone). 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

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