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underlie Line breaks: under|lie
Pronunciation: /ʌndəˈlʌɪ/

Definition of underlie in English:

verb (underlies, underlying; past underlay; past participle underlain)

[with object]
1(Especially of a layer of rock or soil) lie or be situated under (something): limestone underlies much of the site
More example sentences
  • Most of the mowed fields in the central part of the park are underlain with soil.
  • Canadian vineyards are planted on a wide variety of soil types underlain by diverse bedrock geology.
  • Steep slopes underlain by stony soils form appealing vineyard sites, but they can be susceptible to rapid soil erosion during storms.
2Be the cause or basis of (something): the fundamental issue which underlies the conflict (as adjective underlying) the underlying causes of poverty and drug addiction
More example sentences
  • Well let me take the larger issue that I think underlies the question.
  • But I suspect that what underlies these concerns is a deeper fear about the loss of a sort of stability in the region which they helped craft and maintain.
  • If justiciability is the real issue underlying these terms then this should be faced directly.


Old English underlicgan 'be subject or subordinate to' (see under-, lie1).

Words that rhyme with underlie

ally, Altai, apply, assai, awry, ay, aye, Baha'i, belie, bi, Bligh, buy, by, bye, bye-bye, chi, Chiangmai, Ciskei, comply, cry, Cy, Dai, defy, deny, Di, die, do-or-die, dry, Dubai, dye, espy, eye, fie, fly, forbye, fry, Frye, goodbye (US goodby), guy, hereby, hi, hie, high, I, imply, I-spy, July, kai, lie, lye, Mackay, misapply, my, nearby, nigh, Nye, outfly, passer-by, phi, pi, pie, ply, pry, psi, Qinghai, rai, rely, rocaille, rye, scry, serai, shanghai, shy, sigh, sky, Skye, sky-high, sly, spin-dry, spry, spy, sty, Sukhotai, supply, Tai, Thai, thereby, thigh, thy, tie, Transkei, try, tumble-dry, Versailles, Vi, vie, whereby, why, wry, Wye, xi, Xingtai, Yantai

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Pronunciation: fɔːˈtɪsɪməʊ
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly