un·​der·​sto·​ry | \ˈən-dər-ˌstȯr-ē \

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

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 Rather than clear an area, many drug cartels will instead plant marijuana in the understory, a layer of vegetation beneath the forest’s main canopy. Johnny Magdaleno, Newsweek, "Mexican Drug Cartels May Use Legal Marijuana to Increase Their Presence in Northern California," 10 Jan. 2018 With mild to downright warm temperatures and several days of rain, many grasses and forage for wildlife is now abundantly available in fields and in the forest understory. Joe Songer, AL.com, "Spring arrives early as warmer temperatures have flowers blooming and wildlife more active," 7 Jan. 2018 The reason out-of-control boars are destroying the understory in the Pasoh Forest, the researchers say, isn’t a dearth of tigers. National Geographic, "Hordes of Wild Pigs Make Palm Oil Even More Destructive," 21 Dec. 2017 The bush moa preferred to munch on forest understory. Jacob Mikanowski, The Atlantic, "Reconstructing Lost Worlds With Poop," 19 Dec. 2017

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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The first known use of understory was in 1902

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to express warning or disapproval

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