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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Violent attacks are a problem in the region, which the Society described as under-policed. Jack Guy And Eduardo Aragón, CNN, 21 June 2022 The subject of what the president did after the riot started, and why the Capitol was not secured more swiftly and decisively, was under-explored in the second impeachment, and has produced some revealing testimony. The Editors, National Review, 20 June 2022 What no one is sure of is when exactly the Fed will shift gears, and how much more pressure the economy might come under in the meantime. Akane Otani, WSJ, 20 June 2022 And make the most of under-crib space by filling it with storage cubes and baskets to hold sheets, mattress protectors and other non-daily-use items. Vaishnavi Nayel Talawadekar, Washington Post, 16 June 2022 Still, critics say Connecticut’s effort is clearly under-budgeted — and that’s not the only problem. Keith M. Phaneuf, Hartford Courant, 16 June 2022 Agencies may over-promise and then, under-deliver, but, equally, clients may brief poorly or be seduced by enticing showmanship or short-term tactics. Avi Dan, Forbes, 16 June 2022 Taking aim at the show's stars directly, the homeowners also allege that the Merediths often over-promised and under-delivered, resulting in renovations that clients were less than satisfied with. Caitlin Scott, House Beautiful, 15 June 2022 Marathon Petroleum has not come under as much scrutiny as other, larger oil refiners. Sean Mcdonnell, cleveland, 15 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition The incident remains under investigation by Naugatuck detectives. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 10 June 2022 The circumstances of Nichols' death are under investigation. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 10 June 2022 Their deaths are still under investigation, Paxton's office said. Alex Sundby, CBS News, 10 June 2022 Sixty-two incarcerated people in Arizona are confirmed to have died of COVID-19, with 15 additional deaths under investigation. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, 9 June 2022 Additional details about the incident, which is currently under investigation, were not immediately shared. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, 9 June 2022 Pentagon officials told lawmakers that since the report’s publication, military pilots had come forward with hundreds more sightings, bringing the total number of incidents under investigation to 400. Corinne Purtillstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2022 For the families, the experience of being under investigation has been nothing short of devastating, the lawsuit states. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 9 June 2022 Pettit is under investigation by the FBI and, according to a source, the Internal Revenue Service. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, 9 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Theoretically, Nothing could attempt an under-display selfie camera design. Chris Smith, BGR, 16 June 2022 Then apply to your under-eye area for about 7 minutes before rinsing. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 29 Dec. 2021 Restaurant chain First Watch and two medical offices will be the tenants of an under-construction building at the Shops on Naper development near East Ogden Avenue and North Naper Boulevard. Rafael Guerrero, chicagotribune.com, 16 Dec. 2021 For an eye treatment, there is the Instant Depuff Eye Renewal Serum that instantly depuffs, firms, and removes dark circles from the under-eye area. Tamim Alnuweiri, Travel + Leisure, 28 Nov. 2021 Dior’s Firming & Wrinkle-Correcting Eye Cream includes green coffee oil and hemp seed oil to calm the under eye. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 9 Nov. 2021 However, a 2017 analysis of the MetroHealth’s $1 billion Campus Transformation construction project — with the under-construction Glick Center as its cornerstone — would pump $873.3 million into Cuyahoga County’s economy from 2015 through 2023. Julie Washington, cleveland, 15 Sep. 2021 Even his clumsiness loading the rifle pegs him as an under-prepared novice. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 June 2022 Already a favorite of Addison Rae and Olivia Rodrigo, Edikted has been enthusiastically embraced by Gen Z, but Stewart’s cozy cardigan proves the label isn’t just for the under 20 set. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 11 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Under.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/under. Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for under


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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