What does underlie mean?

Definitions for underlie
ˌʌn dərˈlaɪun·der·lie

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word underlie.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. underlieverb

    be or form the base for

  2. underlieverb

    lie underneath


  1. underlieverb

    To lie in a position directly beneath.

  2. underlieverb

    To lie under or beneath.

  3. underlieverb

    To serve as a basis of; form the foundation of.

  4. underlieverb

    To be subject to; be liable to answer, as a charge or challenge.

  5. underlieverb

    To underlay.

  6. Etymology: From underliggen, from underlicgan, equivalent to. Cognate with onderliggen, unterliegen.


  1. underlie

    To underlie means to be the basis or cause of something, forming the foundation or support. It refers to something that exists or is present beneath the surface, often hidden or not immediately apparent, but significantly influencing or affecting the visible or apparent characteristics or circumstances. It can also refer to having priority or a superior claim to something due to being in existence or coming into existence before another thing.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Underlieverb

    to lie under; to rest beneath; to be situated under; as, a stratum of clay underlies the surface gravel

  2. Underlieverb

    to be at the basis of; to form the foundation of; to support; as, a doctrine underlying a theory

  3. Underlieverb

    to be subject or amenable to

  4. Underlieverb

    to lie below or under

  5. Underlienoun

    see Underlay, n., 1

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Underlie

    un-dėr-lī′, v.t. to lie under or beneath: to be liable to.—adj. Underly′ing, lying under or lower in position: supporting, fundamental.

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How to pronounce underlie?

How to say underlie in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of underlie in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of underlie in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of underlie in a Sentence

  1. Priests Revealed in Tudor Mansion:

    We are focusing attention on a series of stone structures that underlie the standing brick buildings, we will be trying to date their construction and when they were demolished to make way for the current structures.

  2. Michael Terman:

    We are confronting three main factors that can underlie depression: an internal clock that runs slower than 24 hours, late evening light exposure that adds physiological time and further slows the process, and a dark bedroom that disallows the morning light signal essential for achieving synchrony with local solar time.

  3. Howard Sesso:

    Two key reasons underlie this.

  4. James Comey:

    To my mind it crosses a line when it moves from being about trying to educate a public and instead just becomes about intelligence porn, frankly, just pushing out information about sources and methods without regard to interest, without regard to the First Amendment values that normally underlie press reporting, and simply becomes a conduit for the Russian intelligence services or some other adversary of the United States.

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Translations for underlie

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"underlie." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/underlie>.

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