- 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.
Underlie is defined as to be under, or be the grounds for something.
transitive verb-·lay′, -·lain′, -·ly′ing
- to lie under or beneath: trusses underlie the roof
- to be the basis for; form the foundation of
- Finance to have priority over (another) in order of claim, as a bond
Origin of underlieMiddle English underlien from Old English underlicgan
transitive verbun·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 claim over.
(third-person singular simple present underlies, present participle underlying, simple past underlay, past participle underlain)