underlying

[uhn-der-lahy-ing]
adjective
1.
lying or situated beneath, as a substratum.
2.
fundamental; basic: the underlying cause of their discontent.
3.
implicit; discoverable only by close scrutiny or analysis: an underlying seriousness in his witticisms.
4.
(of a claim, mortgage, etc.) taking precedence; anterior; prior.
5.
Linguistics. belonging to an earlier stage in the transformational derivation of a sentence or other structure; belonging to the deep structure.

Origin:
1605–15; underlie + -ing2

Dictionary.com Unabridged

underlie

[uhn-der-lahy]
verb (used with object), underlay, underlain, underlying.
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.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English underlyen (v.), Old English underlicgan. See under-, lie2

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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"
 
'underlier
 
n

underlying (ˌʌndəˈlaɪɪŋ)
 
adj
1.  concealed but detectable: underlying guilt
2.  fundamental; basic
3.  lying under
4.  finance (of a claim, liability, etc) taking precedence; prior

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

underlie
O.E. under licgan "to be subordinate to, to submit to;" see under + lie (v.2). Meaning "to lie under or beneath" is attested from 1600; fig. sense of "to be the basis of" is attested from 1852 (implied in underlying).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Underlying these questions are more fundamental questions about constraints and the predictability of evolution.
Investments are made by evaluating underlying value.
But underlying her critique is a strong thread of conviction that too many
  people are going to college.
Second, economic weakness does not immediately suppress underlying price
  pressure.
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