Under the breath
Under Un"der, prep. [AS. under, prep. & adv.; akin to OFries. under, OS. undar, D. onder, G. unter, OHG. untar, Icel. undir, Sw. & Dan. under, Goth. undar, L. infra below, inferior lower, Skr. adhas below. [root]201. Cf. {Inferior}.] 1. Below or lower, in place or position, with the idea of being covered; lower than; beneath; -- opposed to over; as, he stood under a tree; the carriage is under cover; a cellar extends under the whole house. [1913 Webster]

Fruit put in bottles, and the bottles let down into wells under water, will keep long. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

Be gathered now, ye waters under heaven, Into one place. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, in many figurative uses which may be classified as follows; [1913 Webster] (a) 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. [1913 Webster]

Both Jews and Gentiles . . . are all under sin. --Rom. iii. 9. [1913 Webster]

That led the embattled seraphim to war Under thy conduct. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Who have their provand Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows For sinking under them. --Shak. [1913 Webster] (b) 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. [1913 Webster]

Three sons he dying left under age. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

Medicines take effect sometimes under, and sometimes above, the natural proportion of their virtue. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

There are several hundred parishes in England under twenty pounds a year. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

It was too great an honor for any man under a duke. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

Note: Hence, it sometimes means at, with, or for, less than; as, he would not sell the horse under sixty dollars. [1913 Webster]

Several young men could never leave the pulpit under half a dozen conceits. --Swift. [1913 Webster] (c) Denoting relation to something that comprehends or includes, that represents or designates, that furnishes a cover, pretext, pretense, or the like; as, he betrayed him under the guise of friendship; Morpheus is represented under the figure of a boy asleep. [1913 Webster]

A crew who, under names of old renown . . . abused Fanatic Egypt. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Mr. Duke may be mentioned under the double capacity of a poet and a divine. --Felton. [1913 Webster]

Under this head may come in the several contests and wars betwixt popes and the secular princes. --C. Leslie. [1913 Webster] (d) Less specifically, denoting the relation of being subject, of undergoing regard, treatment, or the like; as, a bill under discussion. [1913 Webster]

Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood, Under amazement of their hideous change. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

{Under arms}. (Mil.) (a) Drawn up fully armed and equipped. (b) Enrolled for military service; as, the state has a million men under arms.

{Under canvas}. (a) (Naut.) Moved or propelled by sails; -- said of any vessel with her sail set, but especially of a steamer using her sails only, as distinguished from one under steam. Under steam and canvas signifies that a vessel is using both means of propulsion. (b) (Mil.) Provided with, or sheltered in, tents.

{Under fire}, exposed to an enemy's fire; taking part in a battle or general engagement.

{Under foot}. See under {Foot}, n.

{Under ground}, below the surface of the ground.

{Under one's signature}, with one's signature or name subscribed; attested or confirmed by one's signature. Cf. the second Note under {Over}, prep.

{Under sail}. (Naut.) (a) With anchor up, and under the influence of sails; moved by sails; in motion. (b) With sails set, though the anchor is down. (c) Same as {Under canvas} (a), above. --Totten.

{Under sentence}, having had one's sentence pronounced.

{Under the breath}, with low voice; very softly.

{Under the lee} (Naut.), to the leeward; as, under the lee of the land.

{Under the rose}. See under {Rose}, n.

{Under water}, below the surface of the water.

{Under way}, or {Under weigh} (Naut.), in a condition to make progress; having started. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • under the breath — Softly, in a low voice, sotto voce …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • under your breath — under (your) breath if you say something under your breath, you say it very quietly so that people cannot hear the exact words. I don t believe you. she muttered under her breath …   New idioms dictionary

  • under my breath — whispered, not spoken loud enough to hear    When the teacher asks questions, I often answer under my breath …   English idioms

  • Under the lee — Under Un der, prep. [AS. under, prep. & adv.; akin to OFries. under, OS. undar, D. onder, G. unter, OHG. untar, Icel. undir, Sw. & Dan. under, Goth. undar, L. infra below, inferior lower, Skr. adhas below. [root]201. Cf. {Inferior}.] 1. Below or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Under the rose — Under Un der, prep. [AS. under, prep. & adv.; akin to OFries. under, OS. undar, D. onder, G. unter, OHG. untar, Icel. undir, Sw. & Dan. under, Goth. undar, L. infra below, inferior lower, Skr. adhas below. [root]201. Cf. {Inferior}.] 1. Below or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Under — Un der, prep. [AS. under, prep. & adv.; akin to OFries. under, OS. undar, D. onder, G. unter, OHG. untar, Icel. undir, Sw. & Dan. under, Goth. undar, L. infra below, inferior lower, Skr. adhas below. [root]201. Cf. {Inferior}.] 1. Below or lower …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Under arms — Under Un der, prep. [AS. under, prep. & adv.; akin to OFries. under, OS. undar, D. onder, G. unter, OHG. untar, Icel. undir, Sw. & Dan. under, Goth. undar, L. infra below, inferior lower, Skr. adhas below. [root]201. Cf. {Inferior}.] 1. Below or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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