Definition of under in US English:

under

preposition

  • 1Extending or directly below.

    ‘the streams that ran under the melting glaciers’
    ‘vast stores of oil under Alaska’
    • ‘Why waste all that room under the kitchen sink by simply filling it with garbage?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Pity the display was directly under the departures board which had a long list of delayed and cancelled trains.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lie on your side and position your bottom elbow directly under your shoulder as a support.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Richey is looking forward to experiencing the things we take for granted, such as feeling grass under his feet.’
    • ‘It is a flare, burning gas from deep under the ground, a by-product of the pumping of oil.’
    • ‘The recent appearance of lines under my eyes confirm the toll of early risings and long days.’
    • ‘Huge reserves of fossil fuels remain to be even considered, let alone tapped, eg gas hydrates under the oceans.’
    • ‘Megan held her breath as she put her head directly under the nozzle, the water running down her face and though her hair.’
    • ‘The replacement of gas pipes under the road began February 3 and are set to be finished on May 31.’
    • ‘We do know they were caused by a geological fault under Manchester which appears to have settled now.’
    • ‘I skidded in the rain, the bike went head over wheels and I finished up under his car.’
    • ‘It would skirt Northcliffe Playing fields and pass under or over Bradford Road at the Branch pub.’
    • ‘But a gas main discovered under the planned memorial has put the project in jeopardy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was only the very quick reaction of the driver that prevented the scooter finishing up under the bus wheels.’
    • ‘One bird was found directly under a utility line and one was located on the side of a county road.’
    1. 1.1 Below (something covering or protecting)
      ‘under several feet of water’
      ‘a hot plate under an insulated lid’
      • ‘The show uses human performers and no animals appear under the big top.’
      • ‘Thirty miles away, the lofty peaks appeared sugar coated under their mantle of winter snow.’
      • ‘Maybe they were dejectedly resigned to seeing another green field site disappear under tons of concrete?’
      • ‘Ryda jumped out from under the covers and planted her feet on the cold concrete of her room.’
      • ‘The cat thought it was great fun and climbed under the duvet with me.’
      • ‘Central to the scheme will be a bar and brasserie under the currently hidden roof dome.’
      • ‘Remember too that when grown under glass our plants are dependent on us for all their watering requirements.’
      • ‘Over the years the green fell into disuse and became gradually hidden under thick layers of leaves.’
      • ‘Check your plants weekly, looking under the leaves for the slow-moving mites.’
      • ‘Most of the flavour lies directly under the skin, so peeling is to be avoided.’
      • ‘In mist or under a covering of snow, however, navigational skills will be tested.’
      • ‘Check the electrics as these can be expensive to repair and take a long look under the bonnet for oil leaks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For me the most exciting thing in ice fishing is seeing the fish appear from under the ice to take the lure.’
      • ‘Alex scrubbed a plate and dunked it under the hot soapy water.’
      • ‘I put the note down under the plate and turned around to find Daniel in my face.’
      • ‘The racing began under a layer of snow that saw athletes bundled up even while racing.’
      • ‘Bleeding can occur under the skin, causing the area to swell and become painful.’
      • ‘The plates were kept under a clear, acrylic cover to reduce evaporation.’
      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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The luggage compartment floor is on two levels, under which the rear seat base can be stowed.’
    1. 2.1 Behind (a physical surface)
      ‘it was written on the new canvas under a gluey coating’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Aziz nodded as he pulled his hidden microphone out from under his shirt.’
      • ‘He giggled to himself for a moment and then put his hand behind his back and under his shirt.’
      • ‘His torso was covered in a fine cloth and had a thin layer of body armor under it.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 2.2 Behind or hidden behind (an appearance or disguise)
      ‘he had a deep sense of fun under his quiet exterior’
      • ‘I was invited to appear, under my hastily improvised pseudonym, in a London heat in mid-May.’
      • ‘In the wake of a spate of racist attacks, Lewis asks if the menace of racism simmers under the surface of the city?’
      • ‘However, under the surface there is trouble deep down in the core of the financial markets.’
      • ‘He has posted heavily to the same political newsgroups under his own name.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It will simply conceal whatever gaps in communication there are under another layer of imprecise language.’
      • ‘As his back catalogue shows, the tension bubbling under the surface of everyday life is a basic theme of all his works.’
      • ‘What a character, yet under that confident exterior lies a solid and dependable goalkeeper.’
      • ‘The sins of other men are not apparent, but are dogging them, nevertheless, under the surface.’
      • ‘Screening frequently occurs under the guise of making the decision process manageable.’
      • ‘Posting under a pseudonym on an online chatroom enables you to be whoever you want to be.’
      • ‘There is an intensity to their live show, a fragility under the extroverted appearance.’
      • ‘As any Elvis impersonator knows, under the hard exterior of even the clumsiest man there is a dancer trying to get out.’
      • ‘What was the Citizen's Charter if it was not public service reform under a different badge?’
    3. 2.3 Lower in grade or rank than.
      ‘under him in the hierarchy’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We have a layer of stewards under the branch secretaries who also filter this democracy down.’
      • ‘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 percent’
    • ‘Jacques Chirac, the right wing president, scraped just under 20 percent of the vote.’
    • ‘When miscarriage occurs under 10 weeks, it is more likely to complete spontaneously.’
    • ‘Employers are using overseas workers because they believe they can pay them under the union rate.’
    • ‘He said he couldn't say the defendant should have known she was under 16 by her appearance.’
    • ‘The tasks are often to write a short story under a certain amount of words.’
    • ‘During the same period last year just under two million viewers had done so.’
    • ‘Mr Delaney said he was very happy to report that he had a heart rate of under 60 beats to the minute.’
    • ‘It is great fun for everyone but children under 8 years must be accompanied by an adult.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I define roadster as under two litres, fun, dependable, cheap to run, with low maintenance.’
    • ‘About a quarter of the farms were classified as small, varying round an average of just under one acre and a half.’
    • ‘Also taking part was Malcolm Smart, who finished in just under two hours.’
    • ‘The fire was brought under control just under three hours later with the main bulk of the blaze extinguished.’
    • ‘Buying alcohol on behalf of someone under 18 could lead to an appearance in court.’
    • ‘All that can be determined is the children appear to be under the age of 14 years.’
    • ‘Polio can strike at any age, though half of all cases occur in children under three.’
    • ‘However, it could be less than half of the expected amount, or under £750 in our example.’
    • ‘The average size of email-bourne viruses so far this year has been well under 20 kilobytes.’
    • ‘Which meant if I ran the second half at the same speed I would have finished in under four hours.’
    • ‘The majority of cases in Angola have occurred in children under the age of five years.’
    less than, lower than, smaller than, not so much as, not as much as, below
    View synonyms
  • 4Controlled, managed, or governed by.

    ‘the country is now under martial law’
    ‘I was under his spell’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the government forces under General Cope appeared belatedly to take him on.’
    • ‘I have known of him for many years, and several of my friends studied under him and speak very highly of him.’
    • ‘A great fun night was had by all under the leadership of Quiz master Mr. Peter Guy.’
    • ‘He became a crucial mediator in the Northern Ireland peace process under President Clinton.’
    • ‘The US occupation authority has placed the city under what amounts to martial law.’
    • ‘At first he studied under teachers who prescribed rigorous fasting and self-mortification.’
    • ‘Many of them, including the President, were directly or ultimately under his command.’
    • ‘Those living under an oppressive regime may have good reason to seek this level of online privacy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Michael was to come directly under the command of the pope and such a combination promised trouble.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 4.1 During (a specified time period, reign, or administration)
      ‘it occurred under the pontificate of Paul II’
      • ‘He also said that not all parents would get their first choice school, even under a Tory administration.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Petipa ran the company during the late 19th century, when Russia was under the rule of the Czars.’
      • ‘Historic references point to the spread of Jainism under the reign of several kings in the past.’
      • ‘The sad truth is that what happened under the reign of Leopold II in the Congo has for so long been undocumented.’
      • ‘In all of those elections, England voted Conservative but found itself under Labour rule.’
      • ‘The park fell into decline years ago and has been getting worse under both administrations.’
      • ‘The constraints became even clearer in the years of Whig ascendency under George I and George II.’
      • ‘They have slipped back even from the freedoms they enjoyed under imperial rule.’
      • ‘This town has for the past 30 years at least been a successful town under a Labour administration.’
      • ‘That is much more extensive than anything that has occurred under this Government.’
      • ‘They had personal freedoms under his rule but they demanded political freedom too.’
      • ‘This reminds us that Elgar was culturally a Victorian who flourished under the reign of Victoria's son.’
      • ‘The status of the monarchy had started to decline under the reign of James I.’
      • ‘Compare and contrast, as Whitlam himself might put it, the same period under Howard.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The trend under the previous administration was, if anything, the reverse of this.’
      • ‘They were drinking heaps and having fun being Liberals under a Liberal Government.’
      • ‘He is an expert on Asia who served in the Reagan administration and under the first president Bush.’
      • ‘Even under Tory rule, no reasonable person disputed their right of entry.’
      • ‘I had a friend whose family owned land in Egypt when it was under British rule 50 or 60 years ago.’
      • ‘In the last two years far more repairs have been done than in four years under the previous administration.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This would be a problem even for a Tory administration - under Labour I don't think it possible.’
      • ‘England, under Alfred, similarly saw the encouragement of learning and the establishment of monastic houses.’
      • ‘The City boss inspired us all with his vision and thoughts for the future of the club under his reign.’
      • ‘Labour formed a minority administration under its First Minister, Alun Michel.’
      • ‘Overall the tax burden has risen by the equivalent of 8p on the basic rate of tax under Labour.’
      • ‘He was the minister of the interior under the reign of the former emperor.’
    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.’
      • ‘You are put under a constant low level of pain that triggers endorphal release in your brain to help counter.’
      • ‘His world record of 18.29m appears to be under no threat for the time being, but motivation is now a problem.’
      • ‘The bed creaked under his weight and Jack leaned into the warmth, closed his eyes and took in a deep breath.’
      • ‘Labour courts and arbitration systems are creaking under the weight of new cases.’
      • ‘Nursing and support staff do a wonderful job but are constantly under pressure from ever dwindling resources.’
      • ‘Scene by scene, Sam falls apart under the weight of pressures he only partly understands.’
      • ‘Only its main sail creaked at regular intervals when it swayed slightly under pressure of a mild wind.’
      • ‘The ten weight rod bent alarmingly I could feel the corks bend under the pressure.’
      • ‘If those plants had been under threat six months ago it would have been national news.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It will work by using steam, fed under pressure, to break down organic waste and sterilise metals and plastics.’
      • ‘Yesterday he denied that his job was under threat or that Howard had put pressure on him.’
      • ‘She felt it creak and sag ominously under her slight weight, but breathed a sigh of relief as it held steady.’
      • ‘Research watchdogs were under pressure today not to give a team of scientists permission to clone human embryos.’
    3. 4.3 As provided for by the rules of; in accordance with.
      ‘flowers supplied under contract by a local florist’
      • ‘Smith is under contract but probably will be asked to take a pay cut or face being released.’
      • ‘Even if the person returning the item has a receipt, under the law the contract is between the buyer and the seller.’
      • ‘I take no pleasure in saying I have been arrested hundreds of times under by-laws.’
      • ‘Three men arrested at the airport under Anti-Terrorism laws have now been released without charge.’
      • ‘He is prohibited from using the Internet under the terms of his release.’
      • ‘If an application was submitted it would be given due process under the planning laws.’
      • ‘They have been denied the rights afforded under the proper judicial process.’
      • ‘This power may overlap with the power to remove people to hospital under the National Assistance Acts.’
      • ‘It appears that this may be the first test of this process under the Statute.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Australia is prosecuting the first alleged spammer under its new-ish Spam Act.’
      • ‘The first arrest under the new powers, which came into effect on July 16, was made last Saturday.’
      • ‘All four youths were arrested under the Explosives Act and taken to Fulford Police Station.’
      • ‘Perhaps they dare not mention that in case a lot of users return their software under the copyright act.’
      • ‘Further there is no evidence as to what the insolvency processes would be under the law of Poland.’
      • ‘In two recent cases, protestors have been arrested under the 1361 Justices of the Peace Act.’
      • ‘The law does not limit the terms under which a software product can be licensed.’
    4. 4.4 Used to express grouping or classification.
      ‘file it under “lost”’
      ‘published under his own name’
      • ‘Brice offers to publish Ben's manuscript under his own name for guaranteed commercial success.’
      • ‘In 1906 he published a description of the region, under the title The Dead Heart of Australia.’
      • ‘His way round this, which was also adopted by others, was to publish under a different name.’
      • ‘New work by local artists has been brought together in Kendal under a single canvas at The Art Circus.’
      • ‘In both the US and UK the novel will be published under the name Michael Marshall.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She would marry Ron Graham in 1983 but she continued to publish under her original name of Fan Chung.’
      • ‘One of the most memorable LA moments for me was filed under the title Whatever next?’
      • ‘He sent a large number of his puzzles to Loyd and became very upset when Loyd began to publish them under his own name.’
      • ‘When his first piece of writing won a competition it was published under his Irish name.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now Byng has simplified the company, publishing all its books under the Canongate title.’
      • ‘If the item is not listed, would it fall under one of the classifications if it were?’
      • ‘Childe Harold appeared under his imprint, as did most of Byron's other work.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Even then it was published anonymously under the name of a printer that had long been out of business.’
      • ‘This newspaper began highlighting the level of casual violence under the logo Violent Britain.’
    5. 4.5Computing Within the environment of (a particular operating system)
      ‘the program runs under DOS’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 5Undergoing (a process)

    ‘under construction’
    • ‘That whole matter is still very much under investigation.’
    • ‘The Web site is still under construction and its official launch is planned for this fall.’
    • ‘About two blocks from where we're staying, a new apartment block is under construction.’
    • ‘Each has at its core a process under active discussion in Canada today.’
    • ‘This looks very complicated but it too appears to become straight under magnification.’
    • ‘That would still give the child born a very good chance of growing into an adult under the care of living parents.’
    • ‘Feel free to look around the whole site, not just this blog, although most of it is still under construction.’
    • ‘There are currently six social housing schemes under construction in the county.’
    • ‘After a year he went to the Middle East and spent some months with a field ambulance in Tobruk under enemy siege.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Employees who are under investigation for alleged breaches of conduct are not allowed union representation at interviews with management.’
    • ‘Is that an option that has to be under serious consideration right now by the French?’
    • ‘He pointed out that not all kinds of aggravated robbery increased in the period under review.’
    • ‘Pontën confirmed the organization's web site has been under attack since the raids.’
    • ‘The hilltop site has been under examination by the archaeological teams for the past month.’
    • ‘One might have expected this process to accelerate under the peace process.’
    • ‘We also pass a large new Honda plant that has a new loading yard under construction.’
    • ‘There is a new rollercoaster under construction at Disney's Animal Kingdom.’
    • ‘Finally, how can they say it is finished when there are still areas which are still under repair and construction?’
    undergoing, in the process of, receiving
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1 In an existent state of.
      ‘children living under difficult circumstances’
      • ‘I don't think of us are under any illusions about those elections.’
      • ‘I sent this email under the impression that I was dealing with a reputable journalistic outfit.’
      • ‘These trees can start producing fruit within about six years under the right conditions.’
      • ‘Plans to place suspects who cannot be tried under house arrest have already drawn protests from campaigners.’
      • ‘In neither case do I believe that the authors are actually under the delusion that the systems they are touting are perfect.’
      • ‘A wide range of mechanical and chemical measurements on plant parts can now be made under field conditions.’
      • ‘For decades, he helped many of them to survive under difficult circumstances.’
      • ‘Plants are often under high temperature stress even in their native habitats.’
      • ‘She was apparently then taken away to the Alice Springs safe house where she has been kept under police protection.’
      • ‘Last week, he was released and placed under house arrest pending trial due to his poor state of health.’
      • ‘Last night he was under arrest in Egypt, being questioned about the London terror attacks.’
      • ‘He said that management had done its best to retain a viable share of the market under difficult trading conditions.’
      • ‘Plants were cultivated under the same conditions as in hydroponic culture.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They were restrained before being taken under arrest to St Aldate's Police station.’
      • ‘They worked on art creation and education under extremely difficult conditions.’
      • ‘The process put us under a lot of stress, and we felt that something shameful and wrong had occurred.’
      • ‘No matter what happens later, these men did a superior job under difficult circumstances.’
      • ‘The relative safety of home births under these circumstances is quite difficult to judge.’
      • ‘Plants were grown under rain-fed conditions and plots were well fertilized before sowing.’
      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’
    • ‘The girls pretended to have lost a ring under the table, so he crawled under and looked for it.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When I heard the splash I turned round and saw the boy was struggling and going under.’
    down, downward, lower, below, underneath, beneath
    View synonyms

adjective

  • 1Denoting the lowest part or surface of something; on the underside.

    ‘the under part of the shell is concave’
    • ‘Thankfully it was quiet, as the under tray falling off caused the car to lurch to the left putting me on the hard shoulder.’
    • ‘The cut of the under layers is simple and flowing whilst top garments are constructed of square and rectangular pieces of fabric.’
    • ‘Upon landing he discovered that a 10" hole had been ripped in the under surface of the glider!’
  • 2Unconscious, typically as a result of general anesthesia.

    ‘the operation was quick—she was only under for 15 minutes’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

under

/ˈəndər//ˈəndər/