placed or laid underneath, as a foundation or substratum.
having an underneath layer (often followed by with): a lace tablecloth underlaid with damask; courtesy underlaid with reserve.


simple past tense and past participle of underlay.

Origin of underlaid

before 1100; late Old English under lede (not recorded in ME); see under-, laid


[verb uhn-der-ley; noun uhn-der-ley]

verb (used with object), un·der·laid, un·der·lay·ing.

to lay under or beneath.
to provide with something laid underneath; raise or support with something laid underneath: The manufacturer underlays the chrome finish with a zinc coating.
to extend across the bottom of.


something underlaid.
Printing. a piece or pieces of paper put under type or cuts to bring them to the proper height for printing.

Origin of underlay

before 900; Middle English underleyen, Old English underlecgan; see under-, lay1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for underlaid

Historical Examples of underlaid

  • These coffee-colored floods were underlaid by thick strata of quicksands.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • She understood the strong, reliant nature which underlaid the quiet exterior.

  • She wondered at the fierce purpose which underlaid this weakly body.

    The Golden Woman

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • The life of the great poet is underlaid with romance and sadness.

    East of Suez

    Frederic Courtland Penfield

  • It has been burned up with the coals and lignites which underlaid the surface.

    A Summer's Outing

    Carter H. Harrison

British Dictionary definitions for underlaid



laid underneath
having an underlay or supporting layer underneath


the past tense and past participle of underlay


verb (ˌʌndəˈleɪ) -lays, -laying or -laid (tr)

to place (something) under or beneath
to support by something laid beneath
to achieve the correct printing pressure all over (a forme block) or to bring (a block) up to type height by adding material, such as paper, to the appropriate areas beneath it

noun (ˈʌndəˌleɪ)

a layer, lining, support, etc, laid underneath something else
printing material, such as paper, used to underlay a forme or block
felt, rubber, etc, laid beneath a carpet to increase insulation and resilience
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 underlaid



Old English under lecgan "to support by placing something beneath;" see under + lay (v.). Related: Underlaid; underlaying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper