Definition of under in English:

under

preposition

  • 1Extending or directly below.

    ‘vast stores of gas under the North Sea’
    ‘the streams that ran under the melting glaciers’
    • ‘He charged 80 metres down field leaving a stunned defence in his wake to plant the ball under the uprights.’
    • ‘This tissue is examined under a microscope by a pathologist to check for cancer cells.’
    • ‘This led to a climb down into a small streamway, which appeared to run under the floor of the chamber.’
    • ‘They dislike being planted under trees or in soil that gets waterlogged.’
    • ‘The replacement of gas pipes under the road began February 3 and are set to be finished on May 31.’
    • ‘Megan held her breath as she put her head directly under the nozzle, the water running down her face and though her hair.’
    • ‘One bird was found directly under a utility line and one was located on the side of a county road.’
    • ‘Huge reserves of fossil fuels remain to be even considered, let alone tapped, eg gas hydrates under the oceans.’
    • ‘Pity the display was directly under the departures board which had a long list of delayed and cancelled trains.’
    • ‘It was only the very quick reaction of the driver that prevented the scooter finishing up under the bus wheels.’
    • ‘We look for the lost keys under the lamp post because that is where there is light.’
    • ‘Advice from his officers, which has been seen by the Daily Echo, failed to mention how much oil could lie under the site.’
    • ‘Lie on your side and position your bottom elbow directly under your shoulder as a support.’
    • ‘I skidded in the rain, the bike went head over wheels and I finished up under his car.’
    • ‘Why waste all that room under the kitchen sink by simply filling it with garbage?’
    • ‘The recent appearance of lines under my eyes confirm the toll of early risings and long days.’
    • ‘But a gas main discovered under the planned memorial has put the project in jeopardy.’
    • ‘Richey is looking forward to experiencing the things we take for granted, such as feeling grass under his feet.’
    • ‘His terrier pup stretches out directly under the electric fire, but Colin too needs heat on his old bones.’
    • ‘Place the haddock on an oiled grill tray, brush with oil and place under a preheated grill for three minutes.’
    • ‘It is a flare, burning gas from deep under the ground, a by-product of the pumping of oil.’
    • ‘It would skirt Northcliffe Playing fields and pass under or over Bradford Road at the Branch pub.’
    • ‘We do know they were caused by a geological fault under Manchester which appears to have settled now.’
    1. 1.1 Below (something covering or protecting)
      ‘under several feet of water’
      ‘a hot plate under an insulated lid’
      • ‘Ryda jumped out from under the covers and planted her feet on the cold concrete of her room.’
      • ‘Central to the scheme will be a bar and brasserie under the currently hidden roof dome.’
      • ‘I put the note down under the plate and turned around to find Daniel in my face.’
      • ‘Bleeding can occur under the skin, causing the area to swell and become painful.’
      • ‘Over the years the green fell into disuse and became gradually hidden under thick layers of leaves.’
      • ‘The racing began under a layer of snow that saw athletes bundled up even while racing.’
      • ‘For me the most exciting thing in ice fishing is seeing the fish appear from under the ice to take the lure.’
      • ‘Most of the flavour lies directly under the skin, so peeling is to be avoided.’
      • ‘Check the electrics as these can be expensive to repair and take a long look under the bonnet for oil leaks.’
      • ‘In mist or under a covering of snow, however, navigational skills will be tested.’
      • ‘Check your plants weekly, looking under the leaves for the slow-moving mites.’
      • ‘The cat thought it was great fun and climbed under the duvet with me.’
      • ‘Maybe they were dejectedly resigned to seeing another green field site disappear under tons of concrete?’
      • ‘Thirty miles away, the lofty peaks appeared sugar coated under their mantle of winter snow.’
      • ‘Fruit cell turgors were obtained by probing the mesocarp cells directly under the fruit epidermis.’
      • ‘Many were the nights of great banter, chat and fun that were enjoyed under this roof.’
      • ‘Alex scrubbed a plate and dunked it under the hot soapy water.’
      • ‘The plates were kept under a clear, acrylic cover to reduce evaporation.’
      • ‘Remember too that when grown under glass our plants are dependent on us for all their watering requirements.’
      • ‘The show uses human performers and no animals appear under the big top.’
      beneath, below, underneath, at the bottom of, at the foot of
      flooded by, immersed in, submerged by, sunk in, engulfed by, inundated by, drowned by
      View synonyms
  • 2At a lower level than.

    ‘the room under his study’
    • ‘The luggage compartment floor is on two levels, under which the rear seat base can be stowed.’
    • ‘He landed in an old storage room somewhere under the museum, where he was he had no idea.’
    • ‘Dropping forward onto the walkway around the hold it is possible to swim into the crew's quarters under the chart room.’
    1. 2.1 Behind (a physical surface)
      ‘it was written on the new canvas under a gluey coating’
      • ‘So we went shopping for him, bear in mind, that I had three layers on under my thick winter coat.’
      • ‘How can you look at a Barbie doll caked under layers of makeup and then call her beautiful?’
      • ‘I had no thermals, but cut a dash with pyjama bottoms under my jeans and a borrowed Cossack hat.’
      • ‘He giggled to himself for a moment and then put his hand behind his back and under his shirt.’
      • ‘He recently began to put gold and silver metal leaf under the paint, and he uses a hand-rubbing technique to create a soft, antiqued look.’
      • ‘On the other hand, you can put all the protective gear you want under a clown costume, and no one can get mad at a clown.’
      • ‘His torso was covered in a fine cloth and had a thin layer of body armor under it.’
      • ‘Aziz nodded as he pulled his hidden microphone out from under his shirt.’
    2. 2.2 Behind or hidden behind (an appearance)
      ‘he had a deep sense of fun under his quiet exterior’
      • ‘The sins of other men are not apparent, but are dogging them, nevertheless, under the surface.’
      • ‘There is an intensity to their live show, a fragility under the extroverted appearance.’
      • ‘It will simply conceal whatever gaps in communication there are under another layer of imprecise language.’
      • ‘What a character, yet under that confident exterior lies a solid and dependable goalkeeper.’
      • ‘We never know what's going on just under the surface of people's lives.’
      • ‘As any Elvis impersonator knows, under the hard exterior of even the clumsiest man there is a dancer trying to get out.’
      • ‘In the wake of a spate of racist attacks, Lewis asks if the menace of racism simmers under the surface of the city?’
      • ‘Posting under a pseudonym on an online chatroom enables you to be whoever you want to be.’
      • ‘However, under the surface there is trouble deep down in the core of the financial markets.’
      • ‘Screening frequently occurs under the guise of making the decision process manageable.’
      • ‘What was the Citizen's Charter if it was not public service reform under a different badge?’
      • ‘I was invited to appear, under my hastily improvised pseudonym, in a London heat in mid-May.’
      • ‘He skulked into the room under the pretence of finding himself a drink.’
      • ‘As his back catalogue shows, the tension bubbling under the surface of everyday life is a basic theme of all his works.’
      • ‘He has posted heavily to the same political newsgroups under his own name.’
    3. 2.3 Lower in grade or rank than.
      ‘under him in the hierarchy’
      • ‘Knight, who worked under Babcock as Director of Basketball Operations, has previous experience as a General Manager from his two seasons with the Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies.’
      • ‘We have a layer of stewards under the branch secretaries who also filter this democracy down.’
      • ‘Three principal planning officers will head the team under a development control manager.’
      • ‘I learned long ago that I had to give the managers under me the ability to make mistakes or I'd lose good people.’
      subordinate to, junior to, inferior to, secondary to, subservient to, reporting to, answerable to, responsible to, subject to
      View synonyms
  • 3Lower than (a specified amount, rate, norm, or age)

    ‘they averaged just under 2.8 per cent’
    • ‘He said he couldn't say the defendant should have known she was under 16 by her appearance.’
    • ‘I define roadster as under two litres, fun, dependable, cheap to run, with low maintenance.’
    • ‘The fire was brought under control just under three hours later with the main bulk of the blaze extinguished.’
    • ‘The report forecast more profit warnings for the year and growth of under ten per cent.’
    • ‘Jacques Chirac, the right wing president, scraped just under 20 percent of the vote.’
    • ‘He finished in just under five hours, describing it as a sweet and sour experience.’
    • ‘Buying alcohol on behalf of someone under 18 could lead to an appearance in court.’
    • ‘During the same period last year just under two million viewers had done so.’
    • ‘Employers are using overseas workers because they believe they can pay them under the union rate.’
    • ‘The tasks are often to write a short story under a certain amount of words.’
    • ‘Which meant if I ran the second half at the same speed I would have finished in under four hours.’
    • ‘Polio can strike at any age, though half of all cases occur in children under three.’
    • ‘Also taking part was Malcolm Smart, who finished in just under two hours.’
    • ‘The majority of cases in Angola have occurred in children under the age of five years.’
    • ‘All that can be determined is the children appear to be under the age of 14 years.’
    • ‘The average size of email-bourne viruses so far this year has been well under 20 kilobytes.’
    • ‘However, it could be less than half of the expected amount, or under £750 in our example.’
    • ‘When miscarriage occurs under 10 weeks, it is more likely to complete spontaneously.’
    • ‘About a quarter of the farms were classified as small, varying round an average of just under one acre and a half.’
    • ‘It is great fun for everyone but children under 8 years must be accompanied by an adult.’
    • ‘Mr Delaney said he was very happy to report that he had a heart rate of under 60 beats to the minute.’
    less than, lower than, smaller than, not so much as, not as much as, below
    View synonyms
  • 4Controlled, managed, or governed by.

    ‘the province is now under martial law’
    ‘I was under his spell’
    • ‘They have both been studying for five years under Academy founder Richard Smith.’
    • ‘He became a crucial mediator in the Northern Ireland peace process under President Clinton.’
    • ‘He is sure to maintain his heavy role within the offense under new coach Sidney Lowe.’
    • ‘Michael was to come directly under the command of the pope and such a combination promised trouble.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the government forces under General Cope appeared belatedly to take him on.’
    • ‘At first he studied under teachers who prescribed rigorous fasting and self-mortification.’
    • ‘The US occupation authority has placed the city under what amounts to martial law.’
    • ‘Those living under an oppressive regime may have good reason to seek this level of online privacy.’
    • ‘A great fun night was had by all under the leadership of Quiz master Mr. Peter Guy.’
    • ‘Many of them, including the President, were directly or ultimately under his command.’
    • ‘When the tsunami hit in December the province was under a second period of civil emergency.’
    • ‘I have known of him for many years, and several of my friends studied under him and speak very highly of him.’
    • ‘At least in that time, the excuse of living under a brutal regime could at least be used.’
    • ‘Yule spent a year in Bonn undertaking research in experimental physics under Hertz.’
    • ‘Childbirth in Kazakhstan occurs in a hospital under the care of a doctor whenever possible.’
    • ‘Religious congregations took over schools at all levels under the authority of bishops.’
    1. 4.1 During the rule of.
      ‘the coinage standard was reformed under Elizabeth I’
      • ‘This town has for the past 30 years at least been a successful town under a Labour administration.’
      • ‘In the last two years far more repairs have been done than in four years under the previous administration.’
      • ‘Labour formed a minority administration under its First Minister, Alun Michel.’
      • ‘He also said that not all parents would get their first choice school, even under a Tory administration.’
      • ‘This would be a problem even for a Tory administration - under Labour I don't think it possible.’
      • ‘He was the minister of the interior under the reign of the former emperor.’
      • ‘The City boss inspired us all with his vision and thoughts for the future of the club under his reign.’
      • ‘The constraints became even clearer in the years of Whig ascendency under George I and George II.’
      • ‘Overall the tax burden has risen by the equivalent of 8p on the basic rate of tax under Labour.’
      • ‘He is an expert on Asia who served in the Reagan administration and under the first president Bush.’
      • ‘They were drinking heaps and having fun being Liberals under a Liberal Government.’
      • ‘They had personal freedoms under his rule but they demanded political freedom too.’
      • ‘The trend under the previous administration was, if anything, the reverse of this.’
      • ‘Historic references point to the spread of Jainism under the reign of several kings in the past.’
      • ‘It's true that Bermuda's continued prosperity is not guaranteed if it remains under British rule.’
      • ‘Why should the courts under a future administration not ban a party of the left, or a religious party?’
      • ‘The park fell into decline years ago and has been getting worse under both administrations.’
      • ‘The 1870s were a time of consolidating political reforms under the rule of Juarez.’
      • ‘But recovery is on the way under the tough new administration of President Vladimir Putin.’
      • ‘England, under Alfred, similarly saw the encouragement of learning and the establishment of monastic houses.’
      • ‘I had a friend whose family owned land in Egypt when it was under British rule 50 or 60 years ago.’
      • ‘Petipa ran the company during the late 19th century, when Russia was under the rule of the Czars.’
      • ‘After 52 years, cynics have begun to feel that things were better under the British rule.’
      • ‘Compare and contrast, as Whitlam himself might put it, the same period under Howard.’
      • ‘The sad truth is that what happened under the reign of Leopold II in the Congo has for so long been undocumented.’
      • ‘Even under Tory rule, no reasonable person disputed their right of entry.’
      • ‘That is much more extensive than anything that has occurred under this Government.’
      • ‘In all of those elections, England voted Conservative but found itself under Labour rule.’
      • ‘One hundred years ago both our countries were firmly under the rule of believers.’
      • ‘The status of the monarchy had started to decline under the reign of James I.’
      • ‘They have slipped back even from the freedoms they enjoyed under imperial rule.’
      • ‘This reminds us that Elgar was culturally a Victorian who flourished under the reign of Victoria's son.’
      • ‘Also, in the letter, they ask who is to blame for the lack of maintenance of our roads under the last administration.’
      • ‘I cannot pledge that such horrors will never occur under a Conservative Government.’
    2. 4.2 As a reaction to or undergoing the pressure of (something)
      ‘the sofa creaked under his weight’
      ‘certain institutions may be under threat’
      • ‘Maybe they were under duress, either directly manifested or social, to be seen celebrating.’
      • ‘The bed creaked under his weight and Jack leaned into the warmth, closed his eyes and took in a deep breath.’
      • ‘You are put under a constant low level of pain that triggers endorphal release in your brain to help counter.’
      • ‘She felt it creak and sag ominously under her slight weight, but breathed a sigh of relief as it held steady.’
      • ‘It will work by using steam, fed under pressure, to break down organic waste and sterilise metals and plastics.’
      • ‘Only its main sail creaked at regular intervals when it swayed slightly under pressure of a mild wind.’
      • ‘Scene by scene, Sam falls apart under the weight of pressures he only partly understands.’
      • ‘Nursing and support staff do a wonderful job but are constantly under pressure from ever dwindling resources.’
      • ‘The ten weight rod bent alarmingly I could feel the corks bend under the pressure.’
      • ‘His world record of 18.29m appears to be under no threat for the time being, but motivation is now a problem.’
      • ‘Labour courts and arbitration systems are creaking under the weight of new cases.’
      • ‘The right to anonymity on Internet bulletin boards is under threat again.’
      • ‘I just kept lifting my legs up and down under the pressure of the weights on the machine.’
      • ‘If those plants had been under threat six months ago it would have been national news.’
      • ‘Research watchdogs were under pressure today not to give a team of scientists permission to clone human embryos.’
      • ‘Yesterday he denied that his job was under threat or that Howard had put pressure on him.’
    3. 4.3 As provided for by the rules of; in accordance with.
      ‘flowers supplied under contract by a local florist’
      • ‘The law does not limit the terms under which a software product can be licensed.’
      • ‘In two recent cases, protestors have been arrested under the 1361 Justices of the Peace Act.’
      • ‘Further there is no evidence as to what the insolvency processes would be under the law of Poland.’
      • ‘Smith is under contract but probably will be asked to take a pay cut or face being released.’
      • ‘Perhaps they dare not mention that in case a lot of users return their software under the copyright act.’
      • ‘He is prohibited from using the Internet under the terms of his release.’
      • ‘All four youths were arrested under the Explosives Act and taken to Fulford Police Station.’
      • ‘It appears that this may be the first test of this process under the Statute.’
      • ‘The first arrest under the new powers, which came into effect on July 16, was made last Saturday.’
      • ‘If successful, it too would have access to UK data under the mutual assistance treaties.’
      • ‘They have been denied the rights afforded under the proper judicial process.’
      • ‘Three men arrested at the airport under Anti-Terrorism laws have now been released without charge.’
      • ‘English or French water companies will be free to sell water under contract to those who want their supplies.’
      • ‘I take no pleasure in saying I have been arrested hundreds of times under by-laws.’
      • ‘This is despite the fact that Bridgestone is obliged to supply Minardi with tyres under F1 rules.’
      • ‘This duty arises both under the contract of employment and under the common law principles of negligence.’
      • ‘If an application was submitted it would be given due process under the planning laws.’
      • ‘This power may overlap with the power to remove people to hospital under the National Assistance Acts.’
      • ‘Even if the person returning the item has a receipt, under the law the contract is between the buyer and the seller.’
      • ‘Australia is prosecuting the first alleged spammer under its new-ish Spam Act.’
    4. 4.4 Used to express grouping or classification.
      ‘file it under ‘lost’’
      ‘published under his own name’
      • ‘When his first piece of writing won a competition it was published under his Irish name.’
      • ‘He sent a large number of his puzzles to Loyd and became very upset when Loyd began to publish them under his own name.’
      • ‘Brice offers to publish Ben's manuscript under his own name for guaranteed commercial success.’
      • ‘She would marry Ron Graham in 1983 but she continued to publish under her original name of Fan Chung.’
      • ‘Now he just needs to come up with a few classics under his own name and the place in the rock pantheon he obviously craves will be assured.’
      • ‘Even then it was published anonymously under the name of a printer that had long been out of business.’
      • ‘The fact is that our papers ought to be published under our joint names, but if this were done neither of us get the benefit of it.’
      • ‘In 1906 he published a description of the region, under the title The Dead Heart of Australia.’
      • ‘In both the US and UK the novel will be published under the name Michael Marshall.’
      • ‘Childe Harold appeared under his imprint, as did most of Byron's other work.’
      • ‘If the item is not listed, would it fall under one of the classifications if it were?’
      • ‘One of the most memorable LA moments for me was filed under the title Whatever next?’
      • ‘His way round this, which was also adopted by others, was to publish under a different name.’
      • ‘Now Byng has simplified the company, publishing all its books under the Canongate title.’
      • ‘This newspaper began highlighting the level of casual violence under the logo Violent Britain.’
      • ‘New work by local artists has been brought together in Kendal under a single canvas at The Art Circus.’
      • ‘Are we right to allow all sorts of stuff to appear under our name online?’
      • ‘Why did James continue writing anonymously after he had been published under his own name?’
    5. 4.5Computing Within the environment of (a particular operating system)
      ‘the program runs under DOS’
      • ‘The combined system, running under Linux, boasts peak performance of four teraflops.’
      • ‘Next I decided to have a look at Wine, a program that allows you to run windows apps under Linux.’
      • ‘Now, if some tool would just allow this card to be used under Linux as an access point.’
      • ‘After a beer break, we gathered together to discuss the merits of various encrypted file systems under Linux.’
  • 5Undergoing (a process)

    ‘under construction’
    • ‘Finally, how can they say it is finished when there are still areas which are still under repair and construction?’
    • ‘This looks very complicated but it too appears to become straight under magnification.’
    • ‘He pointed out that not all kinds of aggravated robbery increased in the period under review.’
    • ‘One might have expected this process to accelerate under the peace process.’
    • ‘That whole matter is still very much under investigation.’
    • ‘About two blocks from where we're staying, a new apartment block is under construction.’
    • ‘Therefore the possibility of returning the applicant to Egypt is under active consideration.’
    • ‘The property is under offer and contracts are expected to be exchanged shortly.’
    • ‘There is a new rollercoaster under construction at Disney's Animal Kingdom.’
    • ‘The hilltop site has been under examination by the archaeological teams for the past month.’
    • ‘There are currently six social housing schemes under construction in the county.’
    • ‘Employees who are under investigation for alleged breaches of conduct are not allowed union representation at interviews with management.’
    • ‘Each has at its core a process under active discussion in Canada today.’
    • ‘Feel free to look around the whole site, not just this blog, although most of it is still under construction.’
    • ‘Pontën confirmed the organization's web site has been under attack since the raids.’
    • ‘Is that an option that has to be under serious consideration right now by the French?’
    • ‘We also pass a large new Honda plant that has a new loading yard under construction.’
    • ‘The Web site is still under construction and its official launch is planned for this fall.’
    • ‘After a year he went to the Middle East and spent some months with a field ambulance in Tobruk under enemy siege.’
    • ‘That would still give the child born a very good chance of growing into an adult under the care of living parents.’
    undergoing, in the process of, receiving
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1 In a state of.
      ‘children living under difficult circumstances’
      • ‘Plants were grown under rain-fed conditions and plots were well fertilized before sowing.’
      • ‘The relative safety of home births under these circumstances is quite difficult to judge.’
      • ‘This gives you a talent for successfully performing difficult work under tiring circumstances.’
      • ‘I sent this email under the impression that I was dealing with a reputable journalistic outfit.’
      • ‘In neither case do I believe that the authors are actually under the delusion that the systems they are touting are perfect.’
      • ‘Plans to place suspects who cannot be tried under house arrest have already drawn protests from campaigners.’
      • ‘Plants are often under high temperature stress even in their native habitats.’
      • ‘He said that management had done its best to retain a viable share of the market under difficult trading conditions.’
      • ‘A wide range of mechanical and chemical measurements on plant parts can now be made under field conditions.’
      • ‘They worked on art creation and education under extremely difficult conditions.’
      • ‘These trees can start producing fruit within about six years under the right conditions.’
      • ‘They got out of their car and, without notice, put us under arrest and handcuffed us.’
      • ‘No matter what happens later, these men did a superior job under difficult circumstances.’
      • ‘Last night he was under arrest in Egypt, being questioned about the London terror attacks.’
      • ‘She was apparently then taken away to the Alice Springs safe house where she has been kept under police protection.’
      • ‘The process put us under a lot of stress, and we felt that something shameful and wrong had occurred.’
      • ‘For decades, he helped many of them to survive under difficult circumstances.’
      • ‘I don't think of us are under any illusions about those elections.’
      • ‘They were restrained before being taken under arrest to St Aldate's Police station.’
      • ‘Plants were cultivated under the same conditions as in hydroponic culture.’
      • ‘Last week, he was released and placed under house arrest pending trial due to his poor state of health.’
      subject to, liable to, bound by, controlled by, constrained by, under the control of, at the mercy of
      View synonyms
    2. 5.2 Planted with.
      ‘fields under wheat’
      • ‘Its 600 hectares is mostly arable land and at one time 240 hectares was under soya beans.’
      • ‘Sixty percent of fields were under grass, and farmers lived by growing oats and hay for horses.’

adverb

  • 1Extending or directly below something.

    ‘weaving the body through the crossbars, over and under, over and under’
    • ‘Nothing was happening until a chipmunk poked his head through the flowers, looked at me, and dove back under.’
    • ‘The girls pretended to have lost a ring under the table, so he crawled under and looked for it.’
    • ‘She used a medium-barrel curling iron to turn the hair under and over before finger-styling it.’
    down, downward, lower, below, underneath, beneath
    View synonyms
  • 2Under water.

    ‘he was floating for some time but suddenly went under’
    • ‘But the boat was sinking fast and when the stern went under, a rush of air pushed four people out of the cabin.’
    • ‘When I heard the splash I turned round and saw the boy was struggling and going under.’
    • ‘I'm slinking along the bottom like an eel, trying to see how long I can stay under before I need to surface.’
    • ‘Many of the troops died in deliberately-flooded fields, dragged under by their equipment.’
    down, downward, lower, below, underneath, beneath
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Affected by an anaesthetic; unconscious.
      ‘the operation was quick; she was only under for 15 minutes’
      • ‘When I came to, it turned out that I had been under for a whole hour.’

Origin

Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch onder and German unter.

Pronunciation

under

/ˈʌndə/