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Off the radar

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 24, 2005

In Reply to: Off the radar posted by Alessandra Milani on November 24, 2005

: What is the meaning of the phrase "you dropped off the radar"?

It's a figurative use of a phrase appropriate to a flight controller whose monitor reveals, by means of radar, the position of the planes in that part of the sky which he "controls." If a plane "drops off the radar" it has either flown elsewhere in the sky, or is invisible to the radar for some other reason (such as having crashed). If he is flying very low, he is said to be flying "under the radar," one way to be invisible. Thus, if, say, a friend has dropped off the radar, it means he or she has been out of sight. If something comes my way "under the radar" or "under my radar," it means I was unaware that this was happening; my usually keen appreciation of what is going on failed me in this case. SS