Meaning of “underlie” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"underlie" in American English

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underlieverb [ T ]

us /ˌʌn·dərˈlɑɪ/ present participle underlying, past tense underlay /ˌʌn·dərˈleɪ/ , past participle underlain /ˌʌn·dərˈleɪn/

to be a cause of or strong influence on something:

More fundamental economic problems may underlie last week’s stock market slide.
Note: said esp. of a hidden cause or influence

(Definition of “underlie” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)