On the radar, off the radar, under the radar, below the radar, and above the radar

On the radar, off the radar, under the radar, below the radar, and above the radar are related idioms. We will examine the meaning of the common idioms on the radar, off the radar, under the radar, below the radar, and above the radar, where they came from, and some examples of their idiomatic usage in sentences.

On the radar, off the radar, under the radar, below the radar, and above the radar are all idioms that refer to the degree of something’s importance, whether it is perceived, or how much attention it is receiving. On the radar and above the radar refer to things that have been noticed and are receiving attention. Off the radar refers to something unimportant or unnoticed. Under the radar and below the radar usually describe something that has failed to draw attention, often intentionally. For instance, many companies attempt to influence politicians out of the public eye; they work under the radar or below the radar. The word, radar, was coined in 1941 from the phrase radio detection and ranging. Radar is a system that uses radio waves to determine an object’s size, distance, and speed. The phrases on the radar, off the radar, under the radar, below the radar, and above the radar were all originally used in a literal sense; however, by the 1950s, these terms took on figurative meanings.

Examples

After his loss in the 2021 presidential race, Rezaei wasn’t on the radar for an economic position in a Raisi administration. (Iran International)

“Hayden is seen as a bedroom community that is a little more off-the-radar,” Hayden Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Andrea Fulks said. (Coeur d’Alene Press)

Let’s take a look now at three free agents that flew under the radar this offseason that the franchise could add. (Sports Illustrated)

Check out these 30 highly anticipated books for fall, plus five new nonfiction books and five mysteries flying below the radar. (Los Angeles Times)

One particular London-based aviation startup that has started to fly above the radar has attracted investment from some of Europe’s heavyweight players. (Luxury Travel Magazine)

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