un·​der | \ ˈən-dər How to pronounce under (audio) \

Definition of under

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

Definition of under (Entry 2 of 3)

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
2a : 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
3a : within the group or designation of under this heading
b : having as name or title traveling under an alias
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



Definition of under (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : lying or placed below, beneath, or on the ventral side often used in combinationthe ocean's undercurrentsthe underside of a car
b : facing or protruding downward often used in combinationthe undersurface of a leaf
2 : lower in rank or authority : subordinate often used in combinationthe undersecretary of defense
3 : lower than usual, proper, or desired in amount, quality, or degree often used in combinationundernourished children

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Synonyms & Antonyms for under

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Preposition

Antonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Preposition

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Examples of under in a Sentence

Adverb Pull the bed sheets tight then fold the ends under. He turned under his shirt's collar. The whale surfaced briefly then dove under again. The bridge was too low for the ship to sail under. A score of 60 is needed to pass; anything under is failing. They had to put me under for surgery. Preposition They couldn't climb over the wall, so they dug a hole under it. Draw a line under each word you don't know. We sat under a tree and rested a while. I'm wearing a sweater under my jacket. The ball rolled under the car. How long can you hold your breath under water? The cafe is under new management. The army captured three forts while under the general's command. He has been under a lot of pressure at work lately. You will be under anesthesia during the operation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb According to Mr Stier, the federal IT workforce has five times as many people over the age of 60 as under 30, and most of the $95bn spent on federal IT goes to patching and maintaining ancient systems. The Economist, "The federal bureaucracies were already creaking," 7 Sep. 2019 The penalty for not having insurance will mirror the one under the Affordable Care Act, which was $695 per adult (and $347.50 per child under 18) or 2.5% of annual household income, whichever is greater. latimes.com, "With Obamacare in peril, California reins in rising health insurance premiums," 9 July 2019 Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for children (12 and under). cleveland.com, "Football games, parades, dances on tap as schools celebrate Homecoming: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 13 Sep. 2019 Tickets cost $37 for adults and $32 for kids 12 and under. Juliet Pennington, BostonGlobe.com, "If your pockets aren’t the deepest, you can still eat, sleep, and do a lot in NYC," 26 June 2019 Lakefront Festival of Art: Friday, June 21-Sunday, June 23, on the grounds of the Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Drive Admission: $19 adult; $17 seniors and students; $10 Museum members; Free for children 12 and under. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Don't have a babysitter for your favorite summer festival? Here are some fun things your kids can do.," 10 June 2019 Details: August 23-25 in San Francisco and Berkeley; $25 general, $20 students/seniors, free 18 and under; 877-497-4266, sfpiano.org. Georgia Rowe, The Mercury News, "Superb mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich adds dazzle to SF Piano Fest," 20 Aug. 2019 Admission is free for children 2 and under; $3 for ages 3-17; $5 for adults 18 to 54; and $2 for seniors 55 and older. Cindy Kent, sun-sentinel.com, "July 4, 2019: Your South Florida holiday event roundup," 21 June 2019 Tickets for three separate haunted houses cost $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under and people 65 and older. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Deer District becomes the Fear District with haunted houses, Halloween movies and more beginning Sept. 26," 3 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Campbell, a former lieutenant governor under previous Gov. Sean Parnell, has 35 years of aerospace experience in the U.S. Air Force and Alaska Air National Guard, the statement said. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Governor fills board seats for Alaska Railroad and aerospace agency," 18 Sep. 2019 There are several similar combinations that don’t involve both Pennsylvania and Ohio, with Deficit Factors under 1.5 million votes. Time, "The High-Risk Strategy That Could Hand Democrats the White House," 17 Sep. 2019 Today, the firm boasts $545 billion in assets under management and 2,500 employees. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman on Bitcoin: “I Was Raised in a World Where Someone Needs to Control Currencies”," 17 Sep. 2019 In fact, if the Hynes is no longer in the mix, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s total exhibit, meeting room, and ballroom space in the city would actually shrink by about 8 percent under Baker’s plan. BostonGlobe.com, "Governor Charlie Baker has revived plans to expand the massive Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston, and wants to help pay for it by selling the state-owned Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay.," 17 Sep. 2019 Since Trump awarded his first batch of civilian medals last November to a group that included former NFL greats Roger Staubach and Alan Page, seven of the 12 people who have received the award under Trump have been athletic heroes. David Nakamura, courant.com, "Rejected by sports teams, Trump finds a new method to handpick athletes for White House ceremonies," 17 Sep. 2019 Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, had criticized the numerous sentencing enhancements allowed under California law, many adopted as get-tough policies in the 1980s and 1990s. Fox News, "Freshman Democratic governor commutes sentences for 21 inmates in California," 17 Sep. 2019 Mulder is the 19th player under contract to the Heat, with teams limited to 20 players during the offseason before a cut to no more than 15 by the start of the regular season. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Heat sign former Kentucky guard Mychal Mulder to camp deal," 17 Sep. 2019 Payton also declined to address what his offense would look like without Brees under center going forward. Brett Martel, Houston Chronicle, "Saints' Drew Brees has torn ligament in thumb," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Phillies are more of an under team, but Atlanta draws out the over in them (nine of 12 meetings this season). Chris Wassel, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies odds, picks and best bets," 9 Sep. 2019 Also, there has been a huge outcry about the under-representation of women directors. Dina Iordanova, Quartz, "Only two of the directors featured at the Venice International Film Festival are women," 4 Sep. 2019 The gunfire hit an 18-year-old man in the chest, arm and stomach and an 18-year-old woman in the under arm, police said. William Lee, chicagotribune.com, "Police release photos in effort to identify shooter who shot 3 on CTA bus," 19 June 2019 No one was under arrest as of early Saturday morning and the circumstances of the shootings are under investigation. Mara H. Gottfried, Twin Cities, "Second St. Paul shooting leaves 5 wounded, 1 critically," 29 June 2019 Police said both Hunt and a man named James Gray were under arrest as of Friday afternoon. Loyd Brumfield, Dallas News, "Shooting suspect questioned after man wounded at Love Field-area apartments," 28 June 2019 The biker exemption is one of many carve-outs under consideration as officials haggle over the final details of a congestion pricing system this weekend. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Motorcyclists May Steer Clear of New Congestion-Pricing Fee," 29 Mar. 2019 For the eyes, concentrate on the under eyes and tear ducts to effectively counteract dark circles. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "A Guide to Ageless Makeup for Women Over 50, According to an Industry Veteran," 27 Mar. 2019 Her base nearly complete, Marley goes in with NARS’s Radiant Creamy Concealer on the under eyes and contours the hollows of her cheeks before using a powder foundation to seal everything in. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Watch Zuri Marley Do Her Full Valentine’s Day Date Night Beauty Look," 13 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'under.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of under


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for under


Middle English, adverb & preposition, from Old English; akin to Old High German untar under, Latin inferus situated beneath, lower, infra below, Sanskrit adha

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Learn More about under

Statistics for under

Last Updated

23 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for under

The first known use of under was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for under


How to pronounce under (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of under

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of under (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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)


un·​der | \ ˈən-dər How to pronounce under (audio) \

Kids Definition of under

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : in or into a position below or beneath something The dog squeezed under the fence.
2 : below some quantity or level ten dollars or under

Kids Definition of under (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : lower than and topped or sheltered by under a tree
2 : below the surface of under the sea
3 : in or into such a position as to be covered or hidden by I wore a sweater under my jacket.
4 : commanded or guided by Many soldiers served under George Washington.
5 : controlled or managed by The restaurant is under new management.
6 : affected or influenced by the action or effect of The disease is under treatment.
7 : within the division or grouping of That information is under this heading.
8 : less or lower than (as in size, amount, or rank) The candy costs under a dollar. The package weighs under two pounds.



Kids Definition of under (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : lying or placed below or beneath
2 : lower in position or authority
Hint: The adjective under is often used in combination with other words. underside


un·​der | \ ˈən-dər How to pronounce under (audio) \

Medical Definition of under

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: in or into a condition of unconsciousness put the patient under prior to surgery

Medical Definition of under (Entry 2 of 3)

: receiving or using the action or application of an operation performed under local anesthesia



Medical Definition of under (Entry 3 of 3)

: being in an induced state of unconsciousness given intravenously when the patient is under— C. A. Birch

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More from Merriam-Webster on under

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for under

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with under

Spanish Central: Translation of under

Nglish: Translation of under for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of under for Arabic Speakers

Comments on under

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


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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