Entries linking to undersign
Old English under (prep.) "beneath, among, before, in the presence of, in subjection to, under the rule of, by means of," also, as an adverb, "beneath, below, underneath," expressing position with reference to that which is above, from Proto-Germanic *under- (source also of Old Frisian under, Dutch onder, Old High German untar, German unter, Old Norse undir, Gothic undar), from PIE *ndher- "under" (source also of Sanskrit adhah "below;" Avestan athara- "lower;" Latin infernus "lower," infra "below").
Productive as a prefix in Old English, as in German and Scandinavian (often forming words modeled on Latin ones in sub-). Notion of "inferior in rank, position, etc." was present in Old English. With reference to standards, "less than in age, price, value," etc., late 14c. As an adjective, "lower in position; lower in rank or degree" from 13c. Also used in Old English as a preposition meaning "between, among," as still in under these circumstances, etc. (though this may be an entirely separate root; see understand).
Under the weather "indisposed" is from 1810. Under the table is from 1913 in the sense of "very drunk," 1940s in sense of "illegal" (under-board "dishonest" is from c. 1600). To keep something under (one's) hat "secret" is from 1885; to have something under (one's) nose "in plain sight" is from 1540s; to speak under (one's) breath "in a low voice" is attested from 1832.
early 13c., signen, "to make the sign of the cross," from Old English segnian and Old French signier "to make a sign (to someone); to mark," both of them from Latin signare "to set a mark upon, mark out, designate; mark with a stamp; distinguish, adorn;" figuratively "to point out, signify, indicate," from signum "identifying mark, sign" (see sign (n.)).
The sense of "to mark, stamp" is attested from mid-14c.; that of "affix one's name or signature to" is from late 15c. The meaning "communicate by hand signs, make known by significant motion" is recorded from 1700.
Transitive sense in baseball, "engage (a player) by the signing of an agreement" is by 1889. To sign out (transitive) "secure the release of (someone or something) by signing" is attested by 1963, of library books. The intransitive sense of "record one's departure" is recorded by 1951. Related: Signed; signing.
updated on November 04, 2010
Dictionary entries near undersign