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undertow

noun
     
Related topics: Oceanography
un‧der‧tow [singular]
1HEO the water current under the surface of the sea, that pulls away from the land when a wave comes onto the shore:
The dangerous undertow means that swimming is not allowed.
2 a tendency or feeling that seems weak, but in fact has a strong effect
undertow of
The humour of the novel cannot hide an undertow of sadness.

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