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verb, un·der·lie \-ˈlī\

Simple Definition of underlie

  • : to lie or be located under (something)

  • : to form the basis or foundation of (an idea, a process, etc.)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of underlie

underlayplay \-ˈlā\underlainplay \-ˈlān\underlyingplay \-ˈlī-iŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  to be subject or amenable to

  3. 2 :  to lie or be situated under

  4. 3 :  to be at the basis of :  form the foundation of :  support <ideas underlying the revolution>

  5. 4 :  to exist as a claim or security superior and prior to (another)

Examples of underlie in a sentence

  1. A tile floor underlies the rug.

  2. The river is underlain by limestone.

  3. We discussed the principles that underlay their methods.

  4. A theme of revenge underlies much of her writing.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of underlie

before 12th century

Rhymes with underlie

abide by, Adonai, alibi, alkali, amplify, apple-pie, argufy, assegai, azo dye, basify, beautify, butterfly, by-and-by, caddis fly, calcify, certify, Chou En-lai, citify, clarify, classify, coalify, cockneyfy, codify, college try, cottage pie, crucify, cut-and-try, cutie-pie, DIY, damnify, damselfly, dandify, deify, densify, dignify, dobsonfly, do-or-die, dragonfly, dulcify, eagle eye, edify, evil eye, falsify, fancify, fortify, frenchify, fructify, gasify, Gemini, gentrify, glorify, goggle-eye, goldeneye, gratify, Haggai, harvest fly, hexerei, high and dry, hip and thigh, Hokusai, hook and eye, horrify, hoverfly, humble pie, Iceni, justify, kiss good-bye, lazy eye, lignify, liquefy, lithify, Lorelei, lullaby, Madurai, magnify, Malachi, Maracay, minify, modify, mollify, Molokai, Mordecai, mortify, multi-ply, multiply, mummify, mystify, nazify, notify, nullify, occupy, old school tie, on standby, on the fly, ossify, overbuy, overfly, overlie, pacify, Paraguay, passerby, peccavi, petrify, PPI, preachify, prettify, private eye, prophesy, purify, putrefy, qualify, quantify, ramify, rarefy, ratify, RBI, rectify, reify, res gestae, robber fly, runner's high, Russify, samurai, sanctify, satisfy, scarify, schwarmerei, semidry, set store by, shepherd's pie, shoofly pie, signify, simplify, Spanish fly, specify, speechify, stratify, stultify, stupefy, sweetie pie, Tenebrae, terrify, testify, tie-and-dye, tigereye, Trans Alai, tumble dry, typify, uglify, unify, Uruguay, Veneti, verify, versify, vilify, vinify, vitrify, vivify, weather eye, Windsor tie, xanthene dye, yuppify, zombify

UNDERLIE Defined for Kids


verb un·der·lie \ˌən-dər-ˈlī\

Definition of underlie for Students

underlay \-ˈlā\underlain \-ˈlān\underlying \-ˈlī-iŋ\

  1. 1 :  to lie or be located under <A tile floor underlies the rug.>

  2. 2 :  to form the foundation of :  support <What ideals underlie democracy?>

Seen and Heard

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to expose to danger or risk

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