QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!
Words nearby underlying
What does underlying mean?
Underlying most literally means situated underneath—lying under something, as in We have to fix the underlying layer before repairing the surface.
Underlying perhaps most commonly means fundamental or basic. This sense of the word is used to describe things that are the basis, foundation, or cause of something else. A person’s underlying beliefs are their most essential beliefs, the ones that all their other beliefs, opinions, or values are based on. A single, underlying issue may be the basis of many other problems. Symptoms are caused by an underlying condition or disease.
Less commonly, underlying can be used to describe something that lies beneath in a figurative way, especially something that’s difficult to detect because it’s partially hidden, such as underlying guilt or the underlying theme of a poem.
Underlying is also the continuous tense (ing– form) of the verb underlie, meaning to literally lie beneath or to be the basis or foundation of, as in This is the main problem that underlies all the other issues.
In a financial context, underlying is used more narrowly as a way of indicating what came first or what has precedence, such as in things like mortgages or insurance claims.
Example: We are still working to determine the underlying cause of the collapse.
Where does underlying come from?
The first records of the word underlying come from the early 1600s. It comes from the verb underlie, which is recorded much earlier, before 900. The word lie is used in the sense of “to be situated.”
Underlying is perhaps most often used to describe things that are situated at the figurative foundation or root of other things. This sense of the word can be used quite broadly. A thing described as underlying may form the basis of something, it may be the cause of something, or it may be the core motivation for something.
Did you know ... ?
How is underlying used in real life?
Underlying can be used both literally and figuratively. It’s used in many different contexts.
The symptoms of a panic attack are not dangerous, but can be very frightening. Our page has advice to help you deal with panic attacks, and potentially address the underlying issue that may be causing them: https://t.co/DgXwVFMhPR pic.twitter.com/y5tenh39sU
— NHS (@NHSuk) October 17, 2019
For the first time in modern history, Britons are living shorter lives. Poor lifestyles, depression and budget cuts are the leading causes, and experts say one of the underlying problems is the government’s austerity program. https://t.co/oAbPWjXNMI
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 31, 2019
Paul Kagame's often portrayed as an exacting technocrat or “benevolent dictator” that #Rwanda (and Africa) needs to achieve development. The underlying assumption that tyranny is somehow good for business is woefully counterproductive. Some of my thoughts: https://t.co/VWxPKkkNjP
— Jeffrey Smith (@Smith_JeffreyT) September 10, 2020
Try using underlying!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of underlying?
Example sentences from the Web for underlying
Diarrhea and constipation can also reveal serious underlying issues, according to Stemcosky.Toilet training your cat isn’t as great as it sounds|Candice Wang|August 27, 2020|Popular Science
For brushy Southern California, it could be tree limbs or palm fronds falling on power lines, but also lines can slap together and cause a spark, which ignite underlying brush and grass.Watchdog Warns: SDG&E’s Tree-Trimming Plan Could Worsen Wildfires|MacKenzie Elmer|August 24, 2020|Voice of San Diego
If we can identify a subset of LHPs who display similar underlying pitch quality as the right-handed population of pitchers, then any difference in their outcomes against hitters should reflect the southpaw advantage.What Really Gives Left-Handed Pitchers Their Edge?|Guy Molyneux|August 17, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
They had the league’s ninth-best points percentage when it suspended play in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the underlying picture wasn’t bad either.Can The Hurricanes Win The Stanley Cup With Mediocre Goaltending?|Terrence Doyle|August 11, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
He wants to use metrics like Krakauer’s to identify underlying properties or general principles that might be shared by those diverse origin stories.What Is an Individual? Biology Seeks Clues in Information Theory.|Jordana Cepelewicz|July 16, 2020|Quanta Magazine
But there is an underlying feeling that the worst is yet to come.
Political tensions are underlying every move in Nigeria, where, in February, the next presidential candidates will be nominated.
Some were elderly with underlying conditions like hypertension and diabetes.
Underlying all of this legal maneuvering is the social fact that marriages are hard to undo.
The underlying economic factors that cause deficits to shrink often create circumstances that push them to shrink even faster.
The commercial notion is not perhaps quite so distinct here, but the underlying legal relationship is sufficiently marked.The Religion of Ancient Rome|Cyril Bailey
Here and there, at irregular intervals, the water appeared in pools, pushed to the surface by a lifting of the underlying rock.Motor Matt's "Century" Run|Stanley R. Matthews
The stream is then forced to cut its way according to the positions of the various underlying strata.Outlines of the Earth's History|Nathaniel Southgate Shaler
Hinduism has become a conservative religion and, therefore, a mighty force because of the Swadeshi spirit underlying it.Third class in Indian railways|Mahatma Gandhi
There was such real earnestness, so much underlying meaning, in Pauline's voice that she paused and her eyes became thoughtful.A Butterfly on the Wheel|Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull