Nearby words

  1. gnp,
  2. gnrh,
  3. gns.,
  4. gnu,
  5. gnvq,
  6. go a long way,
  7. go a long way toward,
  8. go about,
  9. go after,
  10. go against


Origin of go

before 900; Middle English gon, Old English gān; cognate with Old High German gēn, German gehen




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.

Verb Phrases

go under,
  1. to give in; succumb; yield: She tried desperately to fight off her drowsiness, but felt herself going under.
  2. to fail in business: After 20 years on the same corner they finally went under.

Origin of under

before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch onder, German unter, Old Norse undir, Latin inferus located below

Synonym study

2. See below. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for go under

go under

verb (intr, mainly adverb)

(also preposition) to sink below (a surface)
to founder or drown
to be conquered or overwhelmedthe firm went under in the economic crisis


abbreviation for

general order



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

Word Origin for under

Old English; related to Old Saxon, Gothic undar, Old High German untar, Old Norse undir, Latin infra



verb goes, going, went or gone (mainly intr)

to move or proceed, esp to or from a point or in a certain directionto go to London; to go home
(tr; takes an infinitive, often with to omitted or replaced by and) to proceed towards a particular person or place with some specified intention or purposeI must go and get that book
to departwe'll have to go at eleven
to start, as in a race: often used in commands
to make regular journeysthis train service goes to the east coast
to operate or function effectivelythe radio won't go
(copula) to becomehis face went red with embarrassment
to make a noise as specifiedthe gun went bang
to enter into a specified state or conditionto go into hysterics; to go into action
to be or continue to be in a specified state or conditionto go in rags; to go in poverty
to lead, extend, or afford accessthis route goes to the north
to proceed towards an activityto go to supper; to go to sleep
(tr; takes an infinitive) to serve or contributethis letter goes to prove my point
to follow a course as specified; farethe lecture went badly
to be applied or allotted to a particular purpose or recipienther wealth went to her son; his money went on drink
to be sold or otherwise transferred to a recipientthe necklace went for three thousand pounds
to be ranked; comparethis meal is good as my meals go
to blend or harmonizethese chairs won't go with the rest of your furniture
(foll by by or under) to be known (by a name or disguise)
to fit or extendthat skirt won't go round your waist
to have a usual or proper placethose books go on this shelf
(of music, poetry, etc) to be sounded; expressed, etchow does that song go?
to fail or give waymy eyesight is going
to break down or collapse abruptlythe ladder went at the critical moment
to diethe old man went at 2 am
(often foll by by)
  1. (of time) to elapsethe hours go by so slowly at the office
  2. to travel pastthe train goes by her house at four
  3. to be guided (by)
to occurhappiness does not always go with riches
to be eliminated, abolished, or given upthis entry must go to save space
to be spent or finishedall his money has gone
to circulate or be transmittedthe infection went around the whole community
to attendgo to school; go to church
to join a stated professiongo to the bar; go on the stage
(foll by to) to have recourse (to); turnto go to arbitration
(foll by to) to subject or put oneself (to)she goes to great pains to please him
to proceed, esp up to or beyond certain limitsyou will go too far one day and then you will be punished
to be acceptable or toleratedanything goes in this place
to carry the weight of final authoritywhat the boss says goes
(foll by into) to be contained infour goes into twelve three times
(often foll by for) to endure or last outwe can't go for much longer without water in this heat
(tr) cards to bet or bidI go two hearts
(tr) informal, mainly US to have as one's weightI went 112 pounds a year ago
US and Canadian (usually used in commands takes an infinitive without to)
  1. to start to act so as togo shut the door
  2. to leave so as togo blow your brains out
informal to perform well; be successfulthat group can really go
(tr) not standard to say: widely used, esp in the historic present, in reporting dialogueThen she goes, ``Give it to me!'' and she just snatched it
go and informal to be so foolish or unlucky as tothen she had to go and lose her hat
be going to intend or be about to start (to do or be doing something): often used as an alternative future constructionwhat's going to happen to us?
go ape slang to become crazy, enraged, or out of control
go ape over slang to become crazy or extremely enthusiastic about
go astray to be mislaid; go missing
go bail to act as surety
go bush See bush 1 (def. 14)
go halves See half (def. 15)
go hard (often foll by with) to cause trouble or unhappiness (to)
go it slang to do something or move energetically
go it alone informal to act or proceed without allies or help
go much on informal to approve of or be in agreement with (something): usually used in the negativeI don't go much on the idea
go one better informal to surpass or outdo (someone)
go the whole hog informal See hog (def. 9)
let go
  1. to relax one's hold (on); release
  2. euphemisticto dismiss (from employment)
  3. to discuss or consider no further
let oneself go
  1. to act in an uninhibited manner
  2. to lose interest in one's appearance, manners, etc
to go
  1. remaining
  2. US and Canadian informal(of food served by a restaurant) for taking away

noun plural goes

the act of going
  1. an attempt or tryhe had a go at the stamp business
  2. an attempt at stopping a person suspected of a crimethe police are not always in favour of the public having a go
  3. an attack, esp verbalshe had a real go at them
a turnit's my go next
informal the quality of being active and energeticshe has much more go than I
informal hard or energetic workit's all go
informal a successful venture or achievementhe made a go of it
informal a bout or attack (of an illness)he had a bad go of flu last winter
informal an unforeseen, usually embarrassing or awkward, turn of eventshere's a rum go
informal a bargain or agreement
all the go informal very popular; in fashion
from the word go informal from the very beginning
no go informal impossible; abortive or futileit's no go, I'm afraid
on the go informal active and energetic


(postpositive) informal functioning properly and ready for action: esp used in astronauticsall systems are go

Word Origin for go

Old English gān; related to Old High German gēn, Greek kikhanein to reach, Sanskrit jahāti he forsakes





a game for two players in which stones are placed on a board marked with a grid, the object being to capture territory on the board

Word Origin for go

from Japanese

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for go under
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with go under

go under


Suffer defeat or destruction; fail. For example, We feared the business would go under after the founder died. [Mid-1800s]


Lose consciousness. For example, Ether was the first anesthetic to make patients go under quickly and completely. This usage dates from the 1930s.


Submerge, sink, as in This leaky boat is about to go 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

also see:

  • 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)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.