World English Dictionary
underlie (ˌʌndəˈlaɪ)
vb , -lies, -lying, -lay, -lain
1.  to lie or be placed under or beneath
2.  to be the foundation, cause, or basis of: careful planning underlies all our decisions
3.  finance to take priority over (another claim, liability, mortgage, etc): a first mortgage underlies a second
4.  to be the root or stem from which (a word) is derived: "happy" underlies "happiest"

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