Nearby words

  1. undemocratic,
  2. undemonstrative,
  3. undeniable,
  4. undeniably,
  5. undenominational,
  6. under a cloud,
  7. under age,
  8. under any circumstances,
  9. under arrest,
  10. under consideration

Idioms

    under wraps. wrap(def 14).

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.

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-

Middle English; Old English

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for under


British Dictionary definitions for under

under

/ (ˈʌndə) /

preposition

adverb

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

under-

prefix

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
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 under

under

prep., adv.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with under

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.