adverb un·der \ˈən-dər\

: in or into a position that is below or beneath something; especially : in a position that is below the surface of water

: in a forward direction that passes below something

: less than an expected or stated number or amount

Full Definition of UNDER

:  in or into a position below or beneath something
:  below or short of some quantity, level, or limit <$10 or under> —often used in combination <understaffed>
:  in or into a condition of subjection, subordination, or unconsciousness <put the patient under for surgery>
:  down to defeat, ruin, or death <weaker competitors will be forced under>
:  so as to be covered <buried under by the avalanche>

Examples of UNDER

  1. Pull the bed sheets tight then fold the ends under.
  2. He turned under his shirt's collar.
  3. The whale surfaced briefly then dove under again.
  4. The bridge was too low for the ship to sail under.
  5. A score of 60 is needed to pass; anything under is failing.
  6. They had to put me under for surgery.

Origin of UNDER

Middle English, adverb & preposition, from Old English; akin to Old High German untar under, Latin inferus situated beneath, lower, infra below, Sanskrit adha
First Known Use: before 12th century

Related to UNDER

beneath, below, underneath



: in or to a lower place than (something) : below or beneath (something)

: guided or managed by (a person or group)

: controlled or affected by (something)

Full Definition of UNDER

:  below or beneath so as to be overhung, surmounted, covered, protected, or concealed by <under sunny skies> <a soft heart under a stern exterior> <under cover of darkness>
a :  subject to the authority, control, guidance, or instruction of <served under the general> <under the terms of the contract> <a program that runs under any operating system>
b :  receiving or undergoing the action or effect of <under pressure> <courage under fire> <under the influence of alcohol> <the image of a point under a mapping> <under oath>
a :  within the group or designation of <under this heading>
b :  having as name or title <traveling under an alias>
:  less or lower than (as in size, amount, or rank); especially :  falling short of a standard or required degree <under the legal age> <under par>

Examples of UNDER

  1. They couldn't climb over the wall, so they dug a hole under it.
  2. Draw a line under each word you don't know.
  3. We sat under a tree and rested a while.
  4. I'm wearing a sweater under my jacket.
  5. The ball rolled under the car.
  6. How long can you hold your breath under water?
  7. The cafe is under new management.
  8. The army captured three forts while under the general's command.
  9. He has been under a lot of pressure at work lately.
  10. You will be under anesthesia during the operation.

First Known Use of UNDER

before 12th century

Related to UNDER

beneath, neath [dialect], below
above, over



Definition of UNDER

a :  lying or placed below, beneath, or on the ventral side —often used in combination <underlip>
b :  facing or protruding downward
:  lower in rank or authority :  subordinate
:  lower than usual, proper, or desired in amount, quality, or degree —often used in combination <an under-dose of medicine>

First Known Use of UNDER

13th century
May 28, 2015
fictioneer Hear it
someone who writes fiction
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears