Definition of undertow noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

     

    undertow

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//ˈʌndərˌtoʊ//
     
    [usually singular]
     
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  1. 1a current in the ocean that moves in the opposite direction to the water near the surface The children were carried out to sea by the strong undertow.
  2. 2undertow (of something) a feeling or quality that influences people in a particular situation even though they may not really be aware of it
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: undertow