- to lie under or beneath; be situated under.
- to be at the basis of; form the foundation of.
- Grammar. to function as the root morpheme or original or basic form of (a derived form): The form “boy” underlies “boyish.”
- Finance. to be primary to another right or security.
Origin of underlie
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to lie or be placed under or beneath
- to be the foundation, cause, or basis ofcareful planning underlies all our decisions
- finance to take priority over (another claim, liability, mortgage, etc)a first mortgage underlies a second
- to be the root or stem from which (a word) is derived"happy" underlies "happiest"
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for underlied
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper