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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Nowhere is it easier to blackmail than in the criminal underworld and the grey areas of conduct that surround it.
▪ The jargon of the criminal underworld is often referred to as argot.
▪ Police say it's the worst assault they've seen, and they're asking for information from the criminal underworld.
▪ Now they're asking for help from Swindon's criminal underworld.
▪ He's accused of having connections with Japan's criminal underworld.
▪ Owen has been active in the Los Vegas underworld for years.
▪ A hot new pachinko machine from a backstreet maker in Osaka has taken the underworld by storm.
▪ All of us have our underworld and nether world creatures with whom we carry on some inner conversation.
▪ Beneath its coils flows the water of the underworld.
▪ He was on his way to the underworld with Pirithous.
▪ Our reporters uncovered a generation who have been sucked into a dark underworld of solvent abuse and hard drugs.
▪ The money used to bribe Cronje was raised by Kishan Kumar, a failed Bollywood actor with underworld links, detectives allege.
▪ They were seen as the earthly links to the gods of the underworld.
▪ Virgil too is the only poet who gives clearly the geography of the underworld.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Underworld \Un"der*world`\, n.

  1. The lower of inferior world; the world which is under the heavens; the earth.

    That overspreads (with such a reverence) This underworld.

  2. The mythological place of departed souls; Hades.

  3. The portion of the world which is below the horizon; the opposite side of the world; the antipodes. [R.]

    Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail, That brings our friends up from the underworld.

  4. The inferior part of mankind. [R.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1600, "the lower world, Hades, place of departed souls," also "the earth, the world below the skies," as distinguished from heaven. Similar formation in German unterwelt, Dutch onderwereld, Danish underverden. Meaning "lower level of society" is first recorded 1890; "criminals and organized crime collectively" is attested from 1900.


n. 1 That part of society that is engaged in crime or vice. 2 (context mythology English) The world of the dead, located underneath the world of the living; the afterlife.

  1. n. the criminal class

  2. (religion) the world of the dead; "he didn't want to go to hell when he died" [syn: Hel, Hell, Hades, infernal region, netherworld, Scheol]


The underworld or netherworld is an otherworld thought to be deep underground or beneath the surface of the world in most religions and mythologies. Typically it is a place where the souls of the departed go, an afterlife or a realm of the dead. Chthonic is the technical adjective for things of the underworld.

Underworld (band)

Underworld are a British electronic group formed in 1980 in Cardiff and the principal name under which musicians Karl Hyde and Rick Smith have recorded together. Darren Price has toured with the band since 2005, after the departure of Darren Emerson in 2000. Known for visual style and dynamic live performances, Underworld have influenced a wide range of artists and been featured in soundtracks and scores for films, television and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Underworld (DeLillo novel)

Underworld is a novel published in 1997 by Don DeLillo. It was nominated for the National Book Award, was a best-seller, and is one of DeLillo's better-known novels.

Underworld continues to receive general acclaim from literary critics. In 2006, a survey of eminent authors and critics conducted by The New York Times found ''Underworld '' the runner-up for the best work of American fiction of the past 25 years; it garnered 11 of 125 votes, finishing behind only Toni Morrison's Beloved with 15 votes.

Underworld (disambiguation)

The Underworld is a place in religion and mythology where the souls of the recently departed go.

Underworld may also refer to:

  • Greek underworld, the Greek version
  • Criminal underworld, another name for organized crime
Underworld (1985 film)

Underworld (also called Transmutations) is a 1985 British horror film written by Clive Barker and James Caplin. It stars Denholm Elliott, Nicola Cowper, Steven Berkoff, Larry Lamb, Ingrid Pitt, Irina Brook and Art Malik. The film was directed by George Pavlou.

The film's music was produced by synthpop group Freur, which later evolved into the band Underworld, their name taken from the film's title.

Underworld (Doctor Who)

Underworld is the fifth serial of the 15th season in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 7–28 January 1978.

Underworld (1927 film)

Underworld (also released as Paying the Penalty) is a 1927 silent crime film directed by Josef von Sternberg.

Underworld (2003 film)

Underworld is a 2003 American action horror film directed by Len Wiseman about the secret history of vampires and lycans (an abbreviated form of lycanthrope, which means werewolf). It is the first (chronologically, the second) installment in the Underworld series. The main plot revolves around Selene ( Kate Beckinsale), a vampire Death Dealer hunting Lycans. She finds herself attracted to a human, Michael Corvin ( Scott Speedman), who is being targeted by the Lycans. After Michael is bitten by a Lycan, Selene must decide whether to do her duty and kill him or go against her clan and save him.

While reviewers generally received the film negatively, a smaller number of reviewers praised elements such as the film's stylish Gothic visuals, the "icy English composure" in Kate Beckinsale's performance, and the extensively worked-out vampire–werewolf mythology that serves as the film's backstory.

Underworld (Dreamlands)

The underworld is a fictional location in the Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft. It is described in detail in Lovecraft's novella The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath ( 1926).

The underworld lies beneath the whole of the Dreamlands and has a few entrances to it in various places. It is dimly lit by a mysterious phosphorescence known as the "death-fire". The underworld is inhabited by a variety of horrors, the most common being the ghouls.

Underworld (Adagio album)

Underworld is the second studio album by the progressive/ neo-classical metal band Adagio, released in 2003. Also is the last to feature David Readman on vocals and Dirk Bruinenberg on drums.

Underworld (comic strip)

Underworld is an adult-themed comic strip written and drawn by the artist Kaz since 1992. It runs in many American alternative weeklies such as the New York Press and the SF Bay Guardian. It features regular characters such as Smoking Cat, Sam Snuff, Creep Rat, Nuzzle, Petit Mort, and others, interacting within an archetypal inner-city environment. The strip's humor is often abstract, with observations such as that God's favorite form of life is the doofus.

Five book collections of Underworld strips have been published by Fantagraphics Books:

  • Underworld: Cruel and Unusual Comics
  • Bare Bulbs: Underworld Two
  • Ink Punk: Underworld Three
  • Duh: Underworld 4
  • Underworld 5: My Little Funny
  • Underworld: From Hoboken to Hollywood - omnibus collection.
Underworld (Divinyls album)

Underworld is the fifth and final studio album by Australian band Divinyls, released in 1996 by BMG Records. It was the band's first studio album release in five years. The lead single " I'm Jealous" had been successful when released in 1995, however this did not have an effect on the album as Underworld was supposed to be released in the 3rd quarter of 1995, but the album was delayed repeatedly due to production problems. Underworld debuted and peaked at number forty-seven on the ARIA Albums Chart and was their last charting album.

Underworld (comics)

Underworld (Jackie Dio) is a fictional character, a supervillain in publications from Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in the Underworld limited series in 2006.

Underworld (film series)

Underworld is a series of action horror films directed by Len Wiseman, Patrick Tatopoulos, Måns Mårlind, and Björn Stein. The first film, Underworld, was released in 2003. It tells the story of Selene ( Kate Beckinsale), a vampire who works as a Death Dealer, killing the Lycans (Werewolves) who allegedly slaughtered her family. The second film, Underworld: Evolution, was released in 2006. In this film, Selene takes Michael Corvin, a human bitten first by Lucian, the leader of the Lycan horde and later by Selene, thus becoming a Lycan/Vampire hybrid, to a vampire safehouse and plans to return to Viktor's estate to awaken Markus, the last Vampire Elder. The third film, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, is the prequel to the series, chronicling the origins of the vampire-lycan war (it was released on January 23, 2009). The fourth film, Underworld: Awakening, the sequel to Underworld: Evolution, was released on January 20, 2012. In this film, humans have discovered the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, and are trying to eradicate both species. A fifth film titled Underworld: Blood Wars is in production and is set to be released 2017.

The four films had a total budget of $177 million, and earned a global box office return of $458.2 million. All four films were given overall negative critical reviews, according to the Rotten Tomatoes website. Underworld had 31% positive reviews (157 reviews). Underworld: Evolution had 16% positive reviews (101 reviews). Underworld: Rise of the Lycans' had 29% positive reviews (77 reviews). Underworld: Awakening had 26% positive reviews (66 reviews).

Underworld (1996 film)

Underworld is a 1997 comedy thriller film that was directed by Roger Christian and stars Denis Leary, Joe Mantegna and Annabella Sciorra.

Underworld (Symphony X album)

Underworld is the ninth studio album by American progressive metal band Symphony X. It was released on July 24, 2015 through Nuclear Blast. The album's first single, "Nevermore", premiered on May 22, 2015, followed by "Without You" on June 19. They were both officially released on July 22, 2015. The band's guitarist, founder and main songwriter, Michael Romeo, said he was against releasing separated tracks of the album, since it was written to be "a whole".

Underworld (song)

"Underworld" is a song recorded by Barry Gibb. It was released in August 2006 on iTunes and later included on the film soundtrack of Arctic Tale. This track, with "Doctor Mann" was released August 2006 under 'Barry Gibb Alan' (Barry's full name is Barry Alan Crompton Gibb) both songs were played few months earlier on Barry's official website's 'Barry Gibb Radio' feature, the artist was later changed to 'Barry Gibb'.

It was written by Barry and Ashley Gibb in 2004, and recorded by Barry in August or September 2004 in Middle Ear Studios, Miami Beach, Florida, same session as "Doctor Mann" and the unreleased "Starcrossed Lovers" both songs were also written by Barry and Ashley Gibb and engineered by Brian Tench. The first CD released of "Underworld" was on the film soundtrack of Arctic Tale with songs by various artists including Brian Wilson and Aimee Mann. But this track is not featured on the film so its inclusion appears to be the result of a business deal.

Musician Steve Gibb contributed guitar on this track while Eero Turunen plays keyboards and programming.

Usage examples of "underworld".

Two underworld friends get Blass drunk one night and put him to bed in his room at the Manoir de Plaisance Hotel, near Saint-Hippolyte, 45 miles north of Montreal.

All I knew about Sinatra before I started this book was that he was a crooner and a decent actor and a paisan who may or may not have a few underworld connections.

Had a bat, or a mouse, gone ahead of him, Gwalchmai would have taken it for a psychopomp guiding his soul to the underworld, but nothing moved except shadows.

All seething with detail that ramified as you looked at it, then split again into underworlds of minutia.

Before this was all over, Spence was going to meet this Slattery, this king of the underworld, face to face.

It was said that he had traded the pure souls of children to the Keeper of the underworld in exchange for dark indulgences, including the ability to use Subtractive Magic.

When Nicci used Subtractive Magic to eliminate your spent blood, the beast, from its roots in the underworld, got its taste of you, or, more accurately, a measure of your magic.

During one of the respites, idly talking men decided that Aegir and Ran had naught to do with this awful stretch of water, and the skalds must merely have failed to make mention that here reigned Loki and his ugly get, Hela who ruled the underworld.

They had spent a couple of hours already in the monstrous underworld of Los Angeles, and Buffy had seen the respect with which Wesley and Gunn were treated.

Thus the child is born and embraced by the mother, the liberated hero ascends from the underworld to return home after his far-flung odyssey.

This conference between Pug Hoffler and Birdy Zelker - for Cliff was sure that such a talk was taking place in a side room - might mean much in the coming activities that were brewed in the confines of the underworld.

It was frequented by Broadwayites of shabby reputation, a sprinkling of cheap prizefighters, and quite a few of the more sporty figures in the underworld.

Berlin underworld and with the Deutschmark forming a wad in the pocket of my flying suit I felt that the first hurdle was past.

Hydra The beast of Hera, daughter of the serpent-goddess Echidna, guarded the entrance to the underworld at Lerna.

Willie Ecks, and nobody in the underworld had ever made friends and enemies faster.