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undercurrent (n.)

1660s, "stream of water or air flowing beneath the surface or beneath another current," a hybrid formed from under + current (n.). The figurative sense of "suppressed or underlying character" is attested from 1817.

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Definitions of undercurrent from WordNet

undercurrent (n.)
a subdued emotional quality underlying an utterance; implicit meaning;
Synonyms: undertone
undercurrent (n.)
a current below the surface of a fluid;
Synonyms: undertide
From wordnet.princeton.edu