Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Idioms with 'Under'

English has many idioms with the word 'Under'. Here are some of the most common ones:

Under Idioms

under a cloud

- depressed, sad
The woman has been under a cloud of depression since her cat died.

under a cloud (of suspicion)

- not trusted, suspected of doing something wrong
The politician is under a cloud of suspicion over the possibility of taking bribes.

under arrest

- arrested by the police before being charged with a crime
The three men were under arrest for robbing a bank.

under attack

- being shot at or attacked physically, being attacked verbally
The company president is under attack because of the scandal.
The soldiers were under attack during the battle.

under certain circumstances

- depending on or influenced by specific circumstances
Under certain circumstances the children can practice in the indoor stadium.

under certain conditions

- depending on or influenced by specific conditions
The mountain road is closed under certain conditions.

under (close) scrutiny

- being watched or examined closely
The business owner was under scrutiny after the accounting scandal.
The results of the election are under close scrutiny.

under construction

- being built or repaired
The hotel was still under construction, two years after it began.

under control

- not out of control, manageable
The fire was under control after the fire department arrived.

under cover

- hidden, concealed
The police officer was under cover during the robbery.

under fire

- being shot at or attacked physically, being attacked verbally
The soldiers were under fire during the battle.
The owner of the company is under fire for not paying his employees a fair salary.

under oath

- having taken a formal oath (solemn promise)
The man was under oath when he spoke before the judge.

under one`s belt

- something you have learned or experienced or mastered or achieved
When my friend has more experience as a cook under his belt he will look for a new job.

under one`s belt

- in one`s stomach
After I had a big breakfast under my belt I was ready for work.

under one`s breath

- in a whisper, with a low voice
The man was talking under his breath in the movie theater and somebody complained.

under one`s nose

- within sight of someone, easily seen or found
My father found his driver`s license right under his nose where he had left it.

under one`s own steam

- by one`s own efforts, without help
The man was able to go home under his own steam even though he was feeling very sick.

under one`s thumb

- obedient to someone, controlled by someone
The man is only an assistant salesman but he has his boss under his thumb.

under one`s wing

- under the care or protection of (someone)
Our supervisor took the new employee under his wing to help him in the new job.

under orders

- caused by law or rules to follow a certain course of action
The soldier said that he was under orders to shoot the rifle.

under pressure

- experiencing something that causes stress or anxiety
The boy's father is always under pressure at work.

under (someone's) feet

- to annoy or interrupt someone when he or she is working
The children were under their mother's feet while she was cooking dinner.

under the circumstances

- because of the circumstances
The girl was very sick and under the circumstances did not have to take the exam.

under the counter

- secretly bought or sold
The new drug is being sold under the counter although the government has not approved it.

under the hammer

- for sale at an auction
The painting went under the hammer and it sold for a very high price.

under the influence of (someone or something)

- experiencing the effects of alcohol or drugs or a controlling power or person
The driver was under the influence of alcohol when he hit the young child.
The woman is under the influence of her boss.

under the sun

- anywhere on earth, everywhere
We looked for my wallet everywhere under the sun.

under the table

- in secret and usually illegal
The businessman paid some money under the table in order to get his product imported into the country.

under the weather

- feeling ill (but not seriously ill)
I am feeling under the weather so I am going to bed early tonight.

under the wire

- just barely in time
We sent in our payment for the school fees just under the wire.

under wraps

- not allowed to be seen until the right time, in secrecy
The new car was still under wraps when the car show started.


Not all 'Under' idioms begin with that word. For example:

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