American English

Definition of under preposition from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1in, to, or through a position that is below something Have you looked under the bed? She placed the ladder under (= just lower than) the window. The dog squeezed under the gate and ran into the road.
  2. 2below the surface of something; covered by something The boat lay under several feet of water.
  3. 3less than; younger than an annual income of under $10,000 It took us under an hour. Nobody under 21 is allowed to buy alcohol.
  4. 4used to say who or what controls, governs, or manages someone or something The country is now under martial law. The coinage was reformed under Elizabeth I (= when she was queen). She has a staff of 19 working under her. Under its new conductor, the orchestra has established an international reputation.
  5. 5according to an agreement, a law or a system Six suspects are being held under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Under the terms of the lease you had no right to sublet the property. Is the television still under guarantee?
  6. 6experiencing a particular process The hotel is still under construction. The matter is under investigation.
  7. 7affected by something The wall collapsed under the strain. I've been feeling under stress lately. I'm under no illusions about what hard work this will be. You'll be under anesthetic, so you won't feel a thing.
  8. 8using a particular name She also writes under the pseudonym of Barbara Vine.
  9. 9found in a particular part of a book, list, etc. If it's not under “sports,” try looking under “games.”
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: under