- lying, or thought of as lying, below the earth's surface: the nether regions
- lower or under: the nether tip of a crescent
Origin of netherMiddle English nethere from Old English neothera, akin to German nieder from Indo-European base an unverified form ni-, down + comparative suffix
Origin of netherMiddle English from Old English neothera from neother down
(comparative nethermore, superlative nethermost)
From Middle English nether, nethere, nithere, from Old English niÃ¾era (“lower, under, lowest", adjective), from niÃ¾er, niÃ¾or (“below, beneath, down, downwards, lower, in an inferior position", adv), from Proto-Germanic *niÃ¾er, *niÃ¾ra (“down"), from Proto-Indo-European *ni-, *nei- (“in, down"); akin to Old Saxon adjective nithiri (“nether"), adverb nithar (“down"), Old High German adjective nidari, nidaro (“nether"), adverb nidar (“down") (see German nieder), Old Dutch nither (see Dutch neder) Old Norse adjective neÃ°ri, neÃ°arri (“nether"), adverb niÃ°r (“down"); all from a Germanic word that is a comparative of a word akin to Sanskrit à¤¨à¤¿ (ni, “down") and Albanian nÃ«n (“under, in") from *nÃ«nd, compound of nÃ« (“in") + dhe (“earth"), lit. in, under the earth; akin to Old English in.
(third-person singular simple present nethers, present participle nethering, simple past and past participle nethered)
- (UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To bring or thrust down; bring or make low; lower; abase; humble.
- (UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To constrict; straiten; confine; restrict; suppress; lay low; keep under; press in upon; vex; harass; oppress.
- (UK dialectal, Scotland) To pinch or stunt with cold or hunger; check in growth; shrivel; straiten.
- (UK dialectal, Scotland) To shrink or huddle, as with cold; be shivery; tremble.
- (UK dialectal, Scotland) To depreciate; disparage; undervalue.
Alteration of earlier nither, from Middle English nitheren, from Old English niÃ¾erian (“ to depress, abase, bring low, humiliate, oppress, accuse, condemn"), from Old English niÃ¾er (“below, beneath, down, downwards, lower, in an inferior position"). See above.