Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “underlie”

See all translations

underlie

verb [T] uk   /ˌʌn.dəˈlaɪ/ us    /-dɚ-/ ( present participle underlying, past tense underlay, past participle underlain)
to be a hidden cause of or strong influence on something: Psychological problems very often underlie apparently physical disorders.
Translations of “underlie”
in Chinese (Traditional) 是…, 對…有重大影響…
in Chinese (Simplified) 是…的深层原因, 对…有重大影响…
(Definition of underlie from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of underlie?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “underlie” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

new year's eve

the last day of the year

Word of the Day

Party Talk (The language of party chat)

by Kate Woodford,
December 23, 2014
​​​ With the party season in full swing (= at its busiest now), we consider the language of socializing (= enjoying yourself with other people). We’re looking especially at words and phrases which are used to describe the different ways that people behave at a party and the sort of conversations that party

Read More 

fit-shaming noun

December 29, 2015
informal the online trolling of people who post pictures of themselves exercising Unfortunately, not everyone is as happy for me… and instead I find myself facing a daily barage of fit-shaming.

Read More