un·​der·​sto·​ry | \ ˈən-dər-ˌstȯr-ē How to pronounce understory (audio) \

Definition of understory

1 : an underlying layer of vegetation specifically : the vegetative layer and especially the trees and shrubs between the forest canopy and the ground cover
2 : the plants that form the understory

Examples of understory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

On six of them, researchers used herbicides to remove all of the understory, as well as ferns living on palm trees, which many plantation owners do. Dyna Rochmyaningsih, Science | AAAS, "Courting controversy, scientists team with industry to tackle one of the world’s most destructive crops," 11 July 2019 An understory of spreading dogbane, yellow columbine, Richardson’s geranium, curly dock, wild roses and fragrant wild geranium grow profusely in damp slivers of space among roots, boulders and gigantic trees. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "This Flagstaff mountain hike surrounds you with summer wildflowers," 18 July 2019 Below the canopy, the understory is a low-light layer dominated by shorter plants with broad leaves, such as palms and philodendrons. Christina Nunez, National Geographic, "Rainforests, explained," 15 May 2019 This is a pretty big discrepancy, and the researchers believe it’s due to underestimating the amount of carbon released by the understory, the ground level of the rainforest. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Amazon Forest Fires Release Way More Carbon Than We Thought," 11 Oct. 2018 Marking a location where the plants have been in obvious flower allows closer examination later in the season, when the trees seem to vanish once again, fading into the woodland understory. Dave Taft, New York Times, "Blaze of Glory," 16 May 2018 In one entrancing swath of forest, towering ceiba trees loom and hooting howler monkeys leap from branch to branch in the understory. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Colombian scientists race to study once-forbidden territory before it is lost to development—or new conflict," 26 Apr. 2018 The most impressive redwoods at Hendy Woods State Park southeast of Mendocino are at Big Hendy, an 80-acre grove with a thick understory of ferns and redwood sorrel. Mary Forgione, latimes.com, "Happy Earth Day! Five redwood parks you've never heard of — and why you should go," 20 Apr. 2018 Privet on the other hand will exist, as a wisp, in the understory of a forest just waiting for an opening. Jefferson County Cooperative Extension, AL.com, "The problem with privet (Garden Talk)," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'understory.' 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 understory

1902, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

22 Aug 2019

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The first known use of understory was in 1902

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with understory

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about understory

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recurring in steady succession

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