• IPA: /ˌʌn.də(ɹ)ˈlaɪ/

underlie (underlies, present participle underlying; past underlay, past participle underlain)

  1. (intransitive) To lie in a position directly beneath.
  2. (transitive) To lie under or beneath.
    A stratum of clay underlies the surface gravel.
  3. (transitive) To serve as a basis of; form the foundation of.
    a doctrine underlying a theory
    • 1941, Emily Carr, Klee Wyck, Chapter 6,
      […] she was carved into the bole of a red cedar tree. Sun and storm had bleached the wood, moss here and there softened the crudeness of the modelling; sincerity underlay every stroke.
  4. (transitive) To be subject to; be liable to answer, as a charge or challenge.
    • 1820, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe; a Romance. [...] In Three Volumes, volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co. […], OCLC 230694662 ↗:
  5. (mining) To underlay.

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