- beneath and covered by: under a table; under a tree.
- below the surface of: under water; under the skin.
- at a point or position lower or further down than: He was hit just under his eye.
- in the position or state of bearing, supporting, sustaining, enduring, etc.: to sink under a heavy load.
- beneath the heading or within the category of: Classify the books under “Fiction” and “General.”
- as designated, indicated, or represented by: to register under a new name.
- below in degree, amount, etc.; less than: purchased under cost.
- below in rank; of less dignity, importance, or the like: A corporal is under a sergeant.
- subject to the authority, direction, or supervision of: a bureau functioning under the prime minister.
- subject to the instruction or advice of: to study the violin under Heifetz.
- subject to the influence, condition, force, etc., of: under these circumstances; born under the sign of Taurus.
- protected, controlled, or watched by: under guard.
- authorized, warranted, or attested by: under one's hand or seal.
- in accordance with: under the provisions of the law.
- during the rule, administration, or government of: new laws passed under President Reagan.
- in the state or process of: under repair; a matter under consideration.
- Nautical. powered by the means indicated: under sail; under steam.
- below or beneath something: Go over the fence, not under.
- beneath the surface.
- in a lower place.
- in a lower degree, amount, etc.: selling blouses for $25 and under.
- in a subordinate position or condition.
- in or into subjection or submission.
- beneath or on the underside: the under threads of the embroidery.
- lower in position.
- lower in degree, amount, etc.
- lower in rank or condition.
- subject to the control, effect, etc., as of a person, drug, or force: The hypnotist had her subject under at once. The patient was under as soon as he breathed the anesthetic.
- go under,
- to give in; succumb; yield: She tried desperately to fight off her drowsiness, but felt herself going under.
- to fail in business: After 20 years on the same corner they finally went under.
- under wraps. wrap(def 14).
Origin of under
- a prefixal use of under, as to indicate place or situation below or beneath (underbrush; undertow); lower in grade or dignity (undersheriff; understudy); of lesser degree, extent, or amount (undersized); or insufficiency (underfeed).
Origin of under-
Examples from the Web for under
“The institution of marraige [sic] is under attack in our society and it needs to be strengthened,” Bush wrote.Jeb Bush’s Unseen Anti-Gay Marriage Emails
January 9, 2015
“Price for adults to $4250; From 10 years to 14 years to $2125; Under 10 years free,” the listing says.Ghost Ships of the Mediterranean
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 6, 2015
“Under Suleimani several military branches have taken shape [in Iraq] which are run by Iran and the Iranian military,” he said.What an Iranian Funeral Tells Us About the Wars in Iraq
January 6, 2015
“JSwipe is currently under heavy load,” flashed across the screen, one night as a friend and I looked at it.My Week on Jewish Tinder
January 5, 2015
Under the current president and his predecessor, Jett notes, the ambassadorship of Belize has gone to college roommates.U.S. Embassies Have Always Been for Sale
January 2, 2015
The old man was peering at him sharply from under the grey protruding brows.
John had been under her dominion, and proceeded to persuade her.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
He made his way to the dining-room, where supper was under way.
I regret this, but did the best I could under the circumstances.Brave and Bold
To my mind, under the conditions I have referred to, such could not fail to be the case.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
- directly below; on, to, or beneath the underside or base ofunder one's feet
- less thanunder forty years
- lower in rank thanunder a corporal
- subject to the supervision, jurisdiction, control, or influence of
- subject to (conditions); in (certain circumstances)
- within a classification ofa book under theology
- known byunder an assumed name
- planted witha field under corn
- powered byunder sail
- astrology during the period that the sun is in (a sign of the zodiac)born under Aries
- below; to a position underneath something
- below or beneathunderarm; underground
- of lesser importance or lower rankundersecretary
- to a lesser degree than is proper; insufficient or insufficientlyundercharge; underemployed
- indicating secrecy or deceptionunderhand
Word Origin and History for under
Old English under, from Proto-Germanic *under- (cf. Old Frisian under, Dutch onder, Old High German untar, German unter, Old Norse undir, Gothic undar), from PIE *ndhero- "lower" (cf. Sanskrit adhah "below;" Avestan athara- "lower;" Latin infernus "lower," infra "below").
Notion of "subordination" was present in Old English Also used in Old English as a preposition meaning "between, among," as still in under these circumstances, etc. (though this may be an entirely separate root; see understand). Productive as a prefix in Old English, as in German and Scandinavian. Under the table is from 1921 in the sense of "very drunk," 1940s in sense of "illegal." To get something under (one's) belt is from 1954; to keep something under (one's) hat "secret" is from 1885; to have something under (one's) nose "in plain sight" is from 1540s; to speak under (one's) breath "in a low voice" is attested from 1832. To be under (someone's) thumb "entirely controlled" is recorded from 1754.
Idioms and Phrases with under
In addition to the idioms beginning with under
- under a cloud
- under age
- under any circumstances
- under arrest
- under consideration
- under cover
- under false colors
- under fire
- under lock and key
- under one's belt
- under one's breath
- under one's feet
- under one's hat
- under one's nose
- under one's own steam
- under one's skin
- under pain of
- under par
- under someone's spell
- under someone's thumb
- under someone's wing
- under the aegis of
- under the circumstances
- under the counter
- under the gun
- under the hammer
- under the impression
- under the influence
- under the knife
- under the sun
- under the table
- under the weather
- under the wire
- under way
- under wraps
- below (under) par
- born under a lucky star
- buckle under
- come under
- cut the ground from under
- don't let the grass grow under one's feet
- everything but the kitchen sink (under the sun)
- fall under
- false colors, sail under
- get under someone's skin
- go under
- hide one's light under a bushel
- hot under the collar
- keep under one's hat
- knock the bottom out (props out from under)
- knuckle under
- light a fire under
- nothing new under the sun
- of (under) age
- out from under
- plow under
- pull the rug out from under
- put the skids under
- six feet under
- snow under
- sweep under the rug
- water over the dam (under the bridge)