from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- prep. In a lower position or place than: a rug under a chair.
- prep. To or into a lower position or place than: rolled the ball under the couch.
- prep. Beneath the surface of: under the ground; swam under water.
- prep. Beneath the assumed surface or guise of: traveled under a false name.
- prep. Less than; smaller than: The jar's capacity is under three quarts.
- prep. Less than the required amount or degree of: under voting age.
- prep. Inferior to in status or rank: nine officers under me at headquarters.
- prep. Subject to the authority, rule, or control of: under a dictatorship.
- prep. Subject to the supervision, instruction, or influence of: under parental guidance.
- prep. Undergoing or receiving the effects of: under constant care.
- prep. Subject to the restraint or obligation of: under contract.
- prep. Within the group or classification of: listed under biology.
- prep. In the process of: under discussion.
- prep. In view of; because of: under these conditions.
- prep. With the authorization of: under the monarch's seal.
- prep. Sowed or planted with: an acre under oats.
- prep. Nautical Powered or propelled by: under sail; under steam.
- prep. During the time conventionally assigned to (a sign of the zodiac): born under Aries.
- adv. In or into a place below or beneath: struggled in the water but then slipped under.
- adv. In or into a subordinate or inferior condition or position.
- adv. So as to be covered or enveloped.
- adv. So as to be less than the required amount or degree.
- adj. Located or situated on a lower level or beneath something else: the under parts of a machine.
- adj. Lower in rank, power, or authority; subordinate.
- adj. Less than is required or customary: an under dose of medication.
- idiom out from under Informal Having gotten free of worries or difficulties: Credit counseling helped us get out from under.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- prep. In a lower level than.
- prep. As a subject of; subordinate to
- prep. Less than
- prep. Below the surface of
- prep. in the face of; in response to (some attacking force)
- adv. In a way lower or less than
- adv. In a way inferior to
- adj. Being lower; being beneath something.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- prep. Below or lower, in place or position, with the idea of being covered; lower than; beneath; -- opposed to
- prep. Denoting relation to some thing or person that is superior, weighs upon, oppresses, bows down, governs, directs, influences powerfully, or the like, in a relation of subjection, subordination, obligation, liability, or the like; as, to travel under a heavy load; to live under extreme oppression; to have fortitude under the evils of life; to have patience under pain, or under misfortunes; to behave like a Christian under reproaches and injuries; under the pains and penalties of the law; the condition under which one enters upon an office; under the necessity of obeying the laws; under vows of chastity.
- prep. Denoting relation to something that exceeds in rank or degree, in number, size, weight, age, or the like; in a relation of the less to the greater, of inferiority, or of falling short.
- prep. Denoting relation to something that comprehends or includes, that represents or designates, that furnishes a cover, pretext, pretense, or the like.
- prep. Less specifically, denoting the relation of being subject, of undergoing regard, treatment, or the like.
- adv. In a lower, subject, or subordinate condition; in subjection; -- used chiefly in a few idiomatic phrases.
- adj. Lower in position, intensity, rank, or degree; subject; subordinate; -- generally in composition with a noun, and written with or without the hyphen.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Below; beneath: expressing position with reference to that which is above, whether in immediate contact or not, or which towers aloft, surmounts, covers, or overtops: as, all under heaven; under the earth or the sea; under the surface; under the table; to take shelter under a tree; to live under the same roof; to hide a thing under a heap of straw; to hide one's light under a bushel; to overhear a conversation under one's windows.
- In or at a place, point, or position that is lower than; further down than; immediately below: as, to hit a man under the belt; to have pains under the arms.
- In the position or state of, or while bearing, supporting, sustaining, receiving, suffering, undergoing, or the like: as, to sink under a load; to act under great excitement.
- Inferior to in point of rank, dignity, social position, or the like.
- Inferior to or less than, with respect to number, amount, quantity, value, age, etc.; falling short of; in or to a less degree than; hence, at, for, or with less than: as, it cannot be bought under $20.
- Of sounds, inferior to, in pitch.
- Subject to.
- Liable or exposed to: as, under fire; under the penalty of fine or imprisonment.
- Subject to the government, rule, command, direction, orders, guidance, or instruction of: as, to serve under Wellington; I studied under him; to sit under a favorite preacher.
- Subject to the influence or operation of; actuated by.
- In accordance with; in conformity with: as, to sell out under the rule.
- Bound by: as, to be under bonds, or a vow.
- In: with reference to circumstances.
- In: with reference to category, division, section, class, etc.: as, to treat several topics under one head.
- In course of: as, to be under treatment, or under discussion.
- In the form or style of; by the appearance or show of; with the character, designation, pretense, pretext, or cover of.
- During the time or existence of: said especially of rulers and their period of rule: as, Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate; the Armada was destroyed under the reign of Elizabeth; the American revolution broke out under the administration of Lord North.
- With the sanction, authorization, permission, or protection of: as, under favor; under leave; under protection, etc.
- [The preposition under in adverbial phrases often coalesces with its noun to form an adverb, from which the adjective or noun may be derived: as, under ground, ⟩ underground, adverb, ⟩ underground, a.; under hand, ⟩ underhand, adverb, ⟩ underhand, adjective; so underboard, underearth, underfoot, etc. Such forms are not true compounds, but are coalesced phrases, like aground, aboard, afoot, etc.]
- In a state of subjection.
- Nautical, directly under the bow: said of an anchor when the chain is up and down.
- In a lower place; in a lower, subject, or subordinate condition or degree.
- Lower in position; situated beneath: opposed to upper: as, the under side; the under mandible.
- Lower in rank or degree. See under, adverb, note .
- Of sounds, lower in pitch.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adv. below some quantity or limit
- adj. lower in rank, power, or authority
- adv. down below
- adv. in or into a state of subordination or subjugation
- adj. located below or beneath something else
- adv. into unconsciousness
- adv. below the horizon
- adv. further down
- adv. down to defeat, death, or ruin
- adv. through a range downward
Middle English, from Old English; see n̥dher- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English under, from Proto-Germanic *under (whence also German unter, Dutch onder), from a merger of Proto-Indo-European *n̥dʰér (“under”) and *n̥tér (“inside”). Akin to Old High German untar ("under"), Latin infra ("below, beneath"). More at infra- (Wiktionary)