- Underlie is defined as to be under, or be the grounds for something.
- An example of underlie is laying under the shade of a tree.
- An example of underlie is a birth being the reason why someone is receiving a gift.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
transitive verb un·der·lay , un·der·lain , un·der·ly·ing, un·der·lies
- To be located under or below.
- To be the support or basis of; account for: Many factors underlie my decision.
- To constitute a prior financial claim over: Dividends for preferred stock underlie those of common stock.