I am writing an article in English, which is not my native language, and I need some help in understanding some well known words, so that I can use them.

The expression under study, what does it mean?

For me, I am writing about a field which is not studied well yet, so how to describe its state? Does the expression under study fit here? If no, what are some other expressions that can be used here?

Thank you in advance.

  • 1
    To understudy means something completely different, simply check an online dictionary for understudy. An example would be: "She is a better actress, she was chosen for the main role and I became her understudy." (it means that I would learn the role as well, but I would only perform if she happened to be unable to perform herself, i.e. she had an accident or was sick or something like that).
    – MorganFR
    Jul 21, 2017 at 12:30
  • 1
    @Morgan Understudy as a single word means that, but it's also possible for something to be under-studied in that it hasn't been examined enough yet (I'm not 100% sure of the clearest way to write it out, the hyphen is just my instinct).
    – Upper_Case
    Jul 21, 2017 at 13:29
  • 2
    under study can also mean "being studied, as the object of a controlled experiment". The new approach is under study at the moment, and won't be used until the results are in and it is shown to be safe.
    – TimR
    Jul 21, 2017 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


I do not believe under study is the right phrase you are looking for in this context. As is mentioned by @MorganFR, it relates more to being an apprentice of another when it is used in normal circumstances.

In your context, I would suggest the term unexplored.


Not evaluated or discussed in detail.
the research focuses on an unexplored theme in European history


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