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 combination understaffed
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 combination the ocean's undercurrentsthe underside of a car
b : facing or protruding downward often used in combination the undersurface of a leaf
2 : lower in rank or authority : subordinate often used in combination the undersecretary of defense
3 : lower than usual, proper, or desired in amount, quality, or degree often used in combination undernourished children

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 Christine Lambrecht, who will oversee defense, has vowed to properly fund Germany’s military, which has for years been under-resourced. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Jan. 2022 Research has found that women are also under-represented in IPCC authorship: the proportion of female IPCC authors has seen a modest increase from less than 5% in 1990 to more than 20% in 2018. Bonnie Chiu, Forbes, 30 Oct. 2021 Blockchain enthusiasts tout crypto as a means to welcome those who have been historically excluded and under-represented from finance into the fold. Jessica Mathews, Fortune, 22 Sep. 2021 In addition to the political divide between union-friendly liberals and cost-conscious conservatives, the debate Friday included advocates for Black construction workers, who have traditionally been under-represented in apprenticeship programs. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Aug. 2021 Researchers found racial and ethnic minorities were under-represented among patients in roughly 4 out of 5 hospitals in the country. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 27 July 2021 Music is not only intangible but has also become commoditized, undervalued, and deeply under-appreciated. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 22 Nov. 2021 Predictably, the feeling of being irreplaceable has led to a feeling of entitlement and a sense of being under-appreciated. Don Yaeger, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021 And perhaps under-appreciated about her game is her defense, which Auriemma has gone out of his way to compliment. Alexa Philippou, courant.com, 6 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition The Australian Open will take place in Melbourne, which spent more time under Covid-19 lockdowns than most other cities in the world. NBC News, 6 Jan. 2022 In Florida, Laundrie slipped away from his parents’ home in North Port on Sept. 13 – under the nose of local police who declined to name him a suspect. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 6 Jan. 2022 Travelers under the age of two continue to be exempt from testing requirements. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 6 Jan. 2022 The agency’s staffing levels reached a critical point under Carvajal and officers at several facilities have held protests calling for him to be fired. Michael Balsamo And Michael R. Sisak, Chron, 5 Jan. 2022 To put into perspective how much the roster has changed under Taylor, only 13 players on the current team were playing for the Bengals before Taylor arrived. Kelsey Conway, The Enquirer, 5 Jan. 2022 Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who was appointed by the transitional government in 2019, was placed under house arrest along with a number of other senior politicians. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 5 Jan. 2022 If passed, there would be no more early voting, and casting an absentee ballot would only be allowed under certain circumstances. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Jan. 2022 What a mighty tome—probably best studied under academic guidance, but to be read for pleasure? Riza Cruz, ELLE, 5 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Fresh Eye gel is applied with a cooling rollerball and makes your under-eyes feel instantly refreshed, hydrated, and plumped. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, 29 Nov. 2021 Auburn’s season win total this year was seven, with heavy juice to the under. Christopher Smith, al, 21 Nov. 2021 But Google’s phone wouldn’t have featured an under-display camera like Samsung’s handset. Chris Smith, BGR, 16 Nov. 2021 Instead, focus on the under and expect both teams to look a bit disjointed. Adam Burke Vsin, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2021 The Fold3's trio of rear cameras are complemented by an under-display camera. Lauren Goode, Wired, 13 Aug. 2021 Arbery had been captured on surveillance video on five occasions in an under-construction home in the neighborhood, and the McMichaels recognized him from the footage. Rebecca Rosenberg, Fox News, 22 Nov. 2021 The owner of the under-construction home, Larry English, never saw Arbery take anything, Rash told the McMichaels. Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2021 The owner of the under-construction home, Larry English, never saw Arbery take anything, Rash told the McMichaels. Hannah Knowles, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Nov. 2021

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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Time Traveler for under

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

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Under.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/under. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for under



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) : underneath
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on under

Nglish: Translation of under for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of under for Arabic Speakers


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