Definition of underlie verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  

underlie

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈlaɪ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈlaɪ//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they underlie
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈlaɪ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈlaɪ//
 
he / she / it underlies
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈlaɪz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈlaɪz//
 
past simple underlay
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈleɪ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈleɪ//
 
past participle underlain
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈleɪn//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈleɪn//
 
-ing form underlying
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈlaɪɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈlaɪɪŋ//
 
 
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[no passive] underlie something (formal) to be the basis or cause of something These ideas underlie much of his work. It is a principle that underlies all the party's policies. see also underlying Word Origin Old English underlicgan ‘be subject or subordinate to’ (from under-, lie1).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: underlie