• synonyms


[uhn-der-stawr-ee, -stohr-ee]
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  1. the shrubs and plants growing beneath the main canopy of a forest.
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Origin of understory

First recorded in 1900–05; under- + story2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for understory

thicket, coppice, bush, brake, brush, copse, underwood, brushwood, boscage, boskage, understory

Examples from the Web for understory

Historical Examples of understory

  • This species was seen only in the understory of primary forest.

    Birds from North Borneo

    Max C. Thompson

  • A dense growth of coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus) forms the understory just below the crest of the hill.

  • It seemed to prefer secondary forest that had some undergrowth and was invariably flushed from the understory.

  • This babbler inhabits the understory of primary forest, and occasionally is seen in secondary forest scrub.

  • Understory thickets sprang up throughout most of the woodland, and especially in edge situations.

Word Origin and History for understory


in reference to forest vegetation, also under-story, 1902, from under + story (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper