Meaning of UNDER in English


transcription, транскрипция: [ ʌndə(r) ]

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Note: In addition to the uses shown below, 'under' is also used in phrasal verbs such as ‘go under’ and ‘knuckle under’.


If a person or thing is under something, they are at a lower level than that thing, and may be covered or hidden by it.

...swimming in the pool or lying under an umbrella...

Under a wide shelf that holds coffee jars stands a pile of magazines...

She buried her head under the covers, pretending to be asleep...

A path runs under the trees.



In a place such as a sea, river, or swimming pool, if someone or something is under the water, they are fully in the water and covered by it.

They said he’d been held under the water and drowned...

Goldfish were swimming lazily in a group just under the surface.


Under is also an adverb.

When the water was up to his neck, a hand came from behind and pushed his head under.

ADV : ADV after v


If you go under something, you move from one side to the other of something that is at a higher level than you.

He went under a brick arch...

A river boat passed under the bridge.



Something that is under a layer of something, especially clothing, is covered by that layer.

I was wearing two sweaters under the green army jacket...

It was hard to see the colours under the layer of dust.



You can use under before a noun to indicate that a person or thing is being affected by something or is going through a particular process.

...fishermen whose livelihoods are under threat...

I’m rarely under pressure and my co-workers are always nice to me...

Firemen said they had the blaze under control...

He was rushed to court yesterday under armed guard.



If something happens under particular circumstances or conditions, it happens when those circumstances or conditions exist.

His best friend was killed by police under extremely questionable circumstances...

Under normal conditions, only about 20 to 40 per cent of vitamin E is absorbed...



If something happens under a law, agreement, or system, it happens because that law, agreement, or system says that it should happen.

Under law, your employer has the right to hire a temporary worker to replace you...

Under the Constitution, you cannot be tried twice for the same crime.



If something happens under a particular person or government, it happens when that person or government is in power.

There would be no new taxes under his leadership.

...the realities of life under a brutal dictatorship...



If you study or work under a particular person, that person teaches you or tells you what to do.

Kiefer was just one of the artists who had studied under Beuys in the early Sixties...

I am the new manager and you will be working under me.



If you do something under a particular name, you use that name instead of your real name.

Were any of your books published under the name Amanda Fairchild?...

The patient was registered under a false name.



You use under to say which section of a list, book, or system something is in.

This study is described under ‘General Diseases of the Eye’...

‘Where would it be?’—‘Filed under C, second drawer down.’



If something or someone is under a particular age or amount, they are less than that age or amount. for those under 65...

Expenditure this year should be just under 15 billion pounds.

≠ over

PREP : PREP amount

Under is also an adverb. childminding service for 5’s and under.

ADV : amount and ADV


under wraps: see wrap

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.