Adjective "underlie" definition and examples

(Underlie may not be an adjective, but it can be used as an adjective, click here to find out.)



Definitions and examples


(especially of a layer of rock or soil) lie or be situated under (something)
  1. 'The interior of the basin is underlain by the Quaternary floodplain deposits and terraces associated with the Mae Ping River.'
  2. 'Furthermore, in cultivated soils, dense compact subsoils frequently underlie the loosened topsoil.'
  3. 'Large expanses of boreal forest and tundra are underlain by permafrost, a layer of permanently frozen soil found underneath the active, seasonally thawed soil.'
  4. 'Steep slopes underlain by stony soils form appealing vineyard sites, but they can be susceptible to rapid soil erosion during storms.'
  5. 'The plants were growing from several fissures in the mafic bedrock that underlies the creek.'
  6. 'The rock underlying the ruins was limestone and, as a result, the soil was thin and dry.'
  7. 'The Yucatán peninsula is underlain by limestone and evidently rose from the sea in ancient times.'
  8. 'Much of this zone is underlain by permafrost and is the most southern Subarctic barrens in the world.'
  9. 'The soil that underlies much of Dublin was deposited during the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago.'
  10. 'The ground is underlain by permafrost, a layer of soil that remains frozen throughout the year and that may extend deep into the earth (in Siberia, it has been reported at a depth of 4,757 feet).'
Be the cause or basis of (something)
  1. 'the underlying causes of poverty and drug addiction'
  2. '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.'
  3. 'Well let me take the larger issue that I think underlies the question.'
  4. 'One should not focus on the media attention at the expense of the underlying issue.'
  5. 'Instead, I would like to focus on a few recurring issues that seem to underlie discussions.'
  6. 'If justiciability is the real issue underlying these terms then this should be faced directly.'
  7. 'Political motivations most likely underlie this transformation of tradition.'
  8. 'This issue increasingly underlies our economic and environmental problems.'
  9. 'The authors' analysis does a great deal to clarify the ethical issues that underlie these intuitive distinctions.'
  10. 'We will hold informal meetings to try and tease out the underlying issues.'
  11. 'I think that is a reasonably accurate statement of the real issue and it underlies this particular case.'

More definitions

1. to lie under or beneath; be situated under.

2. to be at the basis of; form the foundation of.

3. Grammar. to function as the root morpheme or original or basic form of (a derived form): The form “boy” underlies “boyish.”.

4. Finance. to be primary to another right or security.

More examples(as adjective)

"principles can be underlie."


Old English underlicgan ‘be subject or subordinate to’ (see under-, lie).