Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

under

play
adverb un·der \ˈən-dər\

Simple Definition of under

  • : 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

  1. 1 :  in or into a position below or beneath something

  2. 2 :  below or short of some quantity, level, or limit <$10 or under> —often used in combination <understaffed>

  3. 3 :  in or into a condition of subjection, subordination, or unconsciousness <put the patient under for surgery>

  4. 4 :  down to defeat, ruin, or death <weaker competitors will be forced under>

  5. 5 :  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

Rhymes with under


2

under

preposition un·der

Simple Definition of under

  • : 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

  1. 1 :  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>

  2. 2 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>

  3. 3 a :  within the group or designation of <under this heading> b :  having as name or title <traveling under an alias>

  4. 4 :  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.



Before 12th Century

First Known Use of under

before 12th century


3

under

adjective un·der

Definition of under

  1. 1 a :  lying or placed below, beneath, or on the ventral side —often used in combination <underlip> b :  facing or protruding downward

  2. 2 :  lower in rank or authority :  subordinate

  3. 3 :  lower than usual, proper, or desired in amount, quality, or degree —often used in combination <an under-dose of medicine>



13th Century

First Known Use of under

13th century



UNDER Defined for Kids

1

under

play
adverb un·der \ˈən-dər\

Definition of under

  1. 1 :  in or into a position below or beneath something <The dog squeezed under the fence.>

  2. 2 :  below some quantity or level <ten dollars or under>




2

under

play
preposition un·der

Definition of under

  1. 1 :  lower than and topped or sheltered by <under a tree>

  2. 2 :  below the surface of <under the sea>

  3. 3 :  in or into such a position as to be covered or hidden by <I wore a sweater under my jacket.>

  4. 4 :  commanded or guided by <Many soldiers served under George Washington.>

  5. 5 :  controlled or managed by <The restaurant is under new management.>

  6. 6 :  affected or influenced by the action or effect of <The disease is under treatment.>

  7. 7 :  within the division or grouping of <That information is under this heading.>

  8. 8 :  less or lower than (as in size, amount, or rank) <The candy costs under a dollar.> <The package weighs under two pounds.>




3

under

play
adjective un·der

Definition of under

  1. 1 :  lying or placed below or beneath

  2. 2 :  lower in position or authority Hint: The adjective under is often used in combination with other words. <underside>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up under? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet pince-nez kittly-benders spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ