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From Middle English undernimen, from Old English underniman (to take in, receive, comprehend, understand, blame, be indignant at, take upon oneself, steal), equivalent to under- +‎ nim. Cognate with Dutch ondernemen (to undertake, attempt), German unternehmen (to undertake, attempt).


undernim (third-person singular simple present undernims, present participle undernimming, simple past undernimmed or undernam, past participle undernimmed or undernum or undernome or undernomen)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To seize; catch; grasp.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To perceive; understand.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To blame; reprove; rebuke; reprimand; reprehend.
    • 2004, Anonymous, The Travels of Sir John Mandeville:
      Alas! that it is great slander to our faith and to our law, when folk that be without law shall reprove us and undernim us of our sins, [...]