underlay

1 of 2

verb

un·​der·​lay ˌən-dər-ˈlā How to pronounce underlay (audio)
underlaid ˌən-dər-ˈlād How to pronounce underlay (audio) ; underlaying

transitive verb

1
: to cover, line, or traverse the bottom of : give support to on the underside or below
2
: to raise or support by something laid under

underlay

2 of 2

noun

un·​der·​lay ˈən-dər-ˌlā How to pronounce underlay (audio)
: something that is or is designed to be laid under

Examples of underlay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Chris Messina steals scenes as unhinged, foul-mouthed agent David Falk, while Jason Bateman underlays his straight-man deadpan with subtle emotion as Rob Strasser. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 11 July 2023 Still, the split is so contentious here many are now questioning whether the prior sense of unity was a mirage, as events underlay how cultural clashes can flourish even in towns otherwise politically homogenous. Tim Craig, Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2023 Sometimes rapid drumming underlaid the chant-singing. Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2023 Creating the ne plus ultra of the jazz avant-garde while reclaiming the prehistory that underlay it, Ayler reconceived its place in Black American culture. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 18 July 2023 Reportedly, Ukraine’s satisfaction with cooperation on the importing of the Slovakian Zuzana 2 howitzer underlays the new deal, though some media outlets warn of political risks depending on the results of Slovakian elections. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 13 July 2023 The clear understanding of the Middle East’s military balance that once underlay its relative stability is disintegrating before the winds of new technological and strategic change. Kenneth M. Pollack, Foreign Affairs, 19 Apr. 2022 This isolation may underlay what appears to be the dramatic miscalculation behind the invasion of Ukraine, which Putin and his allies seemed to believe would lead to the swift and smooth removal of the Zelensky government, all to the cheers of a pro-Russian public. Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2022 These insights underlay a great opportunity. Stephen Wunker, Forbes, 19 Dec. 2022
Noun
Additionally, the rug comes with an anti-slip underlay that kept it firmly in place. Moriah Mason, Southern Living, 28 Jan. 2024 There were small sequins coated halter dresses with a striped underlay at Saks Potts, latticework pants at Kernemilk, and skirts of all lengths—mini at Rotate, midi at Baum und Pferdgarten, and maxi at Rotate. Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 15 Aug. 2023 The plastic-esque dress was somewhat see-through, showing off a white fishnet underlay beneath the corseted bodice and voluminous skirt. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 26 May 2023 As Overy’s book shows, a quest for just that and the formation of self-sufficient blocs underlay the run-up to the world wars, their character, and their aftermaths. Stephen Kotkin, Foreign Affairs, 6 Apr. 2022 The ironing cover is made of 100% cotton and is lined with a foam and felt underlay to help improve the pressing of your clothes. Tanya Edwards, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 June 2023 The actress last wore the custom Privé gown to the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards last month, styling the sequined bodice with a minimalistic lace underlay that rose to her neck and covered her shoulders. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 17 June 2023 Obviously, self-interest underlay that verdict. Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune, 14 Aug. 2022 The actress paired the dress — an intricate cage of leather bows atop a a sheer polka dot underlay — with matching leather opera gloves and a chic updo. Alexis Jones, Peoplemag, 18 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'underlay.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of underlay was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near underlay

Cite this Entry

“Underlay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underlay. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

underlay

verb
un·​der·​lay
ˌən-dər-ˈlā
underlaid
-ˈlād
; underlaying
1
: to cover, line, or cross the bottom of
shingles underlaid with tar paper
2
: to raise or hold up by something laid under
underlay
ˈən-dər-ˌlā
noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!