underlie

[uhn-der-lahy]
See more synonyms for underlie on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), un·der·lay, un·der·lain, un·der·ly·ing.
  1. to lie under or beneath; be situated under.
  2. to be at the basis of; form the foundation of.
  3. Grammar. to function as the root morpheme or original or basic form of (a derived form): The form “boy” underlies “boyish.”
  4. Finance. to be primary to another right or security.

Origin of underlie

before 900; Middle English underlyen (v.), Old English underlicgan. See under-, lie2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for underlie

Contemporary Examples of underlie

  • Now, in the first study of its kind, neuroscientists have pinpointed the brain circuits that underlie unrealistic optimism.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Are Optimists Dumber?

    Sharon Begley

    October 9, 2011

  • The concept of impulse control comes from a better understanding of the brain mechanisms that underlie self-restraint.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Where's Your Willpower?

    Casey Schwartz

    November 24, 2010

Historical Examples of underlie


British Dictionary definitions for underlie

underlie

verb -lies, -lying, -lay or -lain (tr)
  1. to lie or be placed under or beneath
  2. to be the foundation, cause, or basis ofcareful planning underlies all our decisions
  3. finance to take priority over (another claim, liability, mortgage, etc)a first mortgage underlies a second
  4. to be the root or stem from which (a word) is derived"happy" underlies "happiest"
Derived Formsunderlier, noun
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 underlie
v.

Old English under licgan "to be subordinate to, to submit to;" see under + lie (v.2). Meaning "to lie under or beneath" is attested from c.1600; figurative sense of "to be the basis of" is attested from 1852 (implied in underlying).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper