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

    ‘the room under his study’
    • ‘Dropping forward onto the walkway around the hold it is possible to swim into the crew's quarters under the chart room.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 2.1 Behind (a physical surface):
      ‘it was written on the new canvas under a gluey coating’
      • ‘His torso was covered in a fine cloth and had a thin layer of body armor under it.’
      • ‘He giggled to himself for a moment and then put his hand behind his back and under his shirt.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Aziz nodded as he pulled his hidden microphone out from under his shirt.’
      • ‘I had no thermals, but cut a dash with pyjama bottoms under my jeans and a borrowed Cossack hat.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 2.2 Behind or hidden behind (an appearance):
      ‘he had a deep sense of fun under his quiet exterior’
      • ‘What a character, yet under that confident exterior lies a solid and dependable goalkeeper.’
      • ‘What was the Citizen's Charter if it was not public service reform under a different badge?’
      • ‘Posting under a pseudonym on an online chatroom enables you to be whoever you want to be.’
      • ‘The sins of other men are not apparent, but are dogging them, nevertheless, under the surface.’
      • ‘In the wake of a spate of racist attacks, Lewis asks if the menace of racism simmers under the surface of the city?’
      • ‘As his back catalogue shows, the tension bubbling under the surface of everyday life is a basic theme of all his works.’
      • ‘Screening frequently occurs under the guise of making the decision process manageable.’
      • ‘There is an intensity to their live show, a fragility under the extroverted appearance.’
      • ‘However, under the surface there is trouble deep down in the core of the financial markets.’
      • ‘As any Elvis impersonator knows, under the hard exterior of even the clumsiest man there is a dancer trying to get out.’
      • ‘We never know what's going on just under the surface of people's lives.’
      • ‘He skulked into the room under the pretence of finding himself a drink.’
      • ‘I was invited to appear, under my hastily improvised pseudonym, in a London heat in mid-May.’
      • ‘He has posted heavily to the same political newsgroups under his own name.’
      • ‘It will simply conceal whatever gaps in communication there are under another layer of imprecise language.’
    3. 2.3 Lower in grade or rank than:
      ‘under him in the hierarchy’
      • ‘I learned long ago that I had to give the managers under me the ability to make mistakes or I'd lose good people.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
    • ‘The tasks are often to write a short story under a certain amount of words.’
    • ‘The majority of cases in Angola have occurred in children under the age of five years.’
    • ‘About a quarter of the farms were classified as small, varying round an average of just under one acre and a half.’
    • ‘I define roadster as under two litres, fun, dependable, cheap to run, with low maintenance.’
    • ‘When miscarriage occurs under 10 weeks, it is more likely to complete spontaneously.’
    • ‘Mr Delaney said he was very happy to report that he had a heart rate of under 60 beats to the minute.’
    • ‘Polio can strike at any age, though half of all cases occur in children under three.’
    • ‘Which meant if I ran the second half at the same speed I would have finished in under four hours.’
    • ‘The fire was brought under control just under three hours later with the main bulk of the blaze extinguished.’
    • ‘The average size of email-bourne viruses so far this year has been well under 20 kilobytes.’
    • ‘Buying alcohol on behalf of someone under 18 could lead to an appearance in court.’
    • ‘Jacques Chirac, the right wing president, scraped just under 20 percent of the vote.’
    • ‘However, it could be less than half of the expected amount, or under £750 in our example.’
    • ‘Employers are using overseas workers because they believe they can pay them under the union rate.’
    • ‘It is great fun for everyone but children under 8 years must be accompanied by an adult.’
    • ‘Also taking part was Malcolm Smart, who finished in just under two hours.’
    • ‘The report forecast more profit warnings for the year and growth of under ten per cent.’
    • ‘He finished in just under five hours, describing it as a sweet and sour experience.’
    • ‘He said he couldn't say the defendant should have known she was under 16 by her appearance.’
    • ‘All that can be determined is the children appear to be under the age of 14 years.’
    • ‘During the same period last year just under two million viewers had done so.’
    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’
    • ‘Many of them, including the President, were directly or ultimately under his command.’
    • ‘Yule spent a year in Bonn undertaking research in experimental physics under Hertz.’
    • ‘A great fun night was had by all under the leadership of Quiz master Mr. Peter Guy.’
    • ‘I have known of him for many years, and several of my friends studied under him and speak very highly of him.’
    • ‘Childbirth in Kazakhstan occurs in a hospital under the care of a doctor whenever possible.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the government forces under General Cope appeared belatedly to take him on.’
    • ‘The US occupation authority has placed the city under what amounts to martial law.’
    • ‘He is sure to maintain his heavy role within the offense under new coach Sidney Lowe.’
    • ‘When the tsunami hit in December the province was under a second period of civil emergency.’
    • ‘Those living under an oppressive regime may have good reason to seek this level of online privacy.’
    • ‘Religious congregations took over schools at all levels under the authority of bishops.’
    • ‘He became a crucial mediator in the Northern Ireland peace process under President Clinton.’
    • ‘At first he studied under teachers who prescribed rigorous fasting and self-mortification.’
    • ‘They have both been studying for five years under Academy founder Richard Smith.’
    • ‘At least in that time, the excuse of living under a brutal regime could at least be used.’
    • ‘Michael was to come directly under the command of the pope and such a combination promised trouble.’
    1. 4.1 During the rule of:
      ‘the coinage standard was reformed under Elizabeth I’
      • ‘England, under Alfred, similarly saw the encouragement of learning and the establishment of monastic houses.’
      • ‘This reminds us that Elgar was culturally a Victorian who flourished under the reign of Victoria's son.’
      • ‘The sad truth is that what happened under the reign of Leopold II in the Congo has for so long been undocumented.’
      • ‘He was the minister of the interior under the reign of the former emperor.’
      • ‘I had a friend whose family owned land in Egypt when it was under British rule 50 or 60 years ago.’
      • ‘They have slipped back even from the freedoms they enjoyed under imperial rule.’
      • ‘The status of the monarchy had started to decline under the reign of James I.’
      • ‘Petipa ran the company during the late 19th century, when Russia was under the rule of the Czars.’
      • ‘It's true that Bermuda's continued prosperity is not guaranteed if it remains under British rule.’
      • ‘The 1870s were a time of consolidating political reforms under the rule of Juarez.’
      • ‘After 52 years, cynics have begun to feel that things were better under the British rule.’
      • ‘One hundred years ago both our countries were firmly under the rule of believers.’
      • ‘They had personal freedoms under his rule but they demanded political freedom too.’
      • ‘The constraints became even clearer in the years of Whig ascendency under George I and George II.’
    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’
      • ‘You are put under a constant low level of pain that triggers endorphal release in your brain to help counter.’
      • ‘I just kept lifting my legs up and down under the pressure of the weights on the machine.’
      • ‘The right to anonymity on Internet bulletin boards is under threat again.’
      • ‘Nursing and support staff do a wonderful job but are constantly under pressure from ever dwindling resources.’
      • ‘His world record of 18.29m appears to be under no threat for the time being, but motivation is now a problem.’
      • ‘The ten weight rod bent alarmingly I could feel the corks bend under the pressure.’
      • ‘Yesterday he denied that his job was under threat or that Howard had put pressure on him.’
      • ‘It will work by using steam, fed under pressure, to break down organic waste and sterilise metals and plastics.’
      • ‘She felt it creak and sag ominously under her slight weight, but breathed a sigh of relief as it held steady.’
      • ‘Scene by scene, Sam falls apart under the weight of pressures he only partly understands.’
      • ‘Research watchdogs were under pressure today not to give a team of scientists permission to clone human embryos.’
      • ‘Labour courts and arbitration systems are creaking under the weight of new cases.’
      • ‘If those plants had been under threat six months ago it would have been national news.’
      • ‘Only its main sail creaked at regular intervals when it swayed slightly under pressure of a mild wind.’
      • ‘The bed creaked under his weight and Jack leaned into the warmth, closed his eyes and took in a deep breath.’
      • ‘Maybe they were under duress, either directly manifested or social, to be seen celebrating.’
    3. 4.3 As provided for by the rules of; in accordance with:
      ‘flowers supplied under contract by a local florist’
      • ‘Australia is prosecuting the first alleged spammer under its new-ish Spam Act.’
      • ‘The law does not limit the terms under which a software product can be licensed.’
      • ‘He is prohibited from using the Internet under the terms of his release.’
      • ‘Further there is no evidence as to what the insolvency processes would be under the law of Poland.’
      • ‘If successful, it too would have access to UK data under the mutual assistance treaties.’
      • ‘English or French water companies will be free to sell water under contract to those who want their supplies.’
      • ‘The first arrest under the new powers, which came into effect on July 16, was made last Saturday.’
      • ‘This power may overlap with the power to remove people to hospital under the National Assistance Acts.’
      • ‘Perhaps they dare not mention that in case a lot of users return their software under the copyright act.’
      • ‘If an application was submitted it would be given due process under the planning laws.’
      • ‘In two recent cases, protestors have been arrested under the 1361 Justices of the Peace Act.’
      • ‘Smith is under contract but probably will be asked to take a pay cut or face being released.’
      • ‘Three men arrested at the airport under Anti-Terrorism laws have now been released without charge.’
      • ‘This duty arises both under the contract of employment and under the common law principles of negligence.’
      • ‘All four youths were arrested under the Explosives Act and taken to Fulford Police Station.’
      • ‘I take no pleasure in saying I have been arrested hundreds of times under by-laws.’
      • ‘Even if the person returning the item has a receipt, under the law the contract is between the buyer and the seller.’
      • ‘It appears that this may be the first test of this process under the Statute.’
      • ‘This is despite the fact that Bridgestone is obliged to supply Minardi with tyres under F1 rules.’
      • ‘They have been denied the rights afforded under the proper judicial process.’
    4. 4.4 Used to express grouping or classification:
      ‘file it under ‘lost’’
      ‘published under his own name’
      • ‘She would marry Ron Graham in 1983 but she continued to publish under her original name of Fan Chung.’
      • ‘Now Byng has simplified the company, publishing all its books under the Canongate title.’
      • ‘In 1906 he published a description of the region, under the title The Dead Heart of Australia.’
      • ‘Childe Harold appeared under his imprint, as did most of Byron's other work.’
      • ‘New work by local artists has been brought together in Kendal under a single canvas at The Art Circus.’
      • ‘This newspaper began highlighting the level of casual violence under the logo Violent Britain.’
      • ‘One of the most memorable LA moments for me was filed under the title Whatever next?’
      • ‘When his first piece of writing won a competition it was published under his Irish name.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His way round this, which was also adopted by others, was to publish under a different 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.’
      • ‘In both the US and UK the novel will be published under the name Michael Marshall.’
      • ‘Why did James continue writing anonymously after he had been published under his own name?’
      • ‘Even then it was published anonymously under the name of a printer that had long been out of business.’
      • ‘Brice offers to publish Ben's manuscript under his own name for guaranteed commercial success.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Are we right to allow all sorts of stuff to appear under our name online?’
      • ‘If the item is not listed, would it fall under one of the classifications if it were?’
    5. 4.5Computing Within the environment of (a particular operating system):
      ‘the program runs under DOS’
      • ‘After a beer break, we gathered together to discuss the merits of various encrypted file systems under Linux.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The combined system, running under Linux, boasts peak performance of four teraflops.’
  • 5Undergoing (a process):

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

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.’
    • ‘She used a medium-barrel curling iron to turn the hair under and over before finger-styling it.’
    • ‘The girls pretended to have lost a ring under the table, so he crawled under and looked for it.’
  • 2Under water:

    ‘he was floating for some time but suddenly went under’
    • ‘Many of the troops died in deliberately-flooded fields, dragged under by their equipment.’
    • ‘I'm slinking along the bottom like an eel, trying to see how long I can stay under before I need to surface.’
    • ‘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.’
    down, downward, lower, below, underneath, beneath
    underwater, to the bottom
    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/