Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To undertake.
  • v. To accept; receive.
  • v. To insnare; entrap; deceive by false suggestions.
  • v. To support or guard from beneath.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To undertake.
  • To accept; receive.
  • To insnare; entrap; deceive by false suggestions.
  • To support or guard from beneath.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English underfangen, underfongen, undervongen, from Old English underfōn ("to receive, obtain, take, accept, take in, entertain, take up, undertake, assume, adopt, submit to, undergo, steal"), from Proto-Germanic *under + *fanhanan (“to take, receive”), equivalent to under- +‎ fang. Cognate with Dutch ondervangen ("to overcome, forestall"), German unterfangen ("to venture, dare").

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