underlay, underlie
1. The addition of the prefix under- makes both verbs transitive (i.e. take an object) and therefore they do not entirely correspond to the grammatical functions of lay and lie. The form of the past tense and past participle of underlay is underlaid, and the forms of underlie are (past tense) underlay and (past participle) underlain. The primary meaning of underlay is ‘to lay one thing under (another) to support it’ as in underlaying a floor covering with another layer of material, whereas the more common verb underlie means ‘to lie under (something)’, especially in figurative senses (as in These motives underlie all they do).
2. Underlay (with stress on the first syllable) is also a noun, meaning ‘material laid under a carpet’, whereas underlie is only a verb.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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  • underlie — [un΄dərlī′] vt. underlay, underlain, underlying [ME underlien < OE underlicgan] 1. to lie under or beneath [trusses underlie the roof] 2. to be the basis for; form the foundation of 3. Finance to have priority over (another) in order of claim …   English World dictionary

  • Underlie — Un der*lie , v. t. [AS. underlicgan. See {Under}, and {Lie} to be prostrate.] 1. To lie under; to rest beneath; to be situated under; as, a stratum of clay underlies the surface gravel. [1913 Webster] 2. To be at the basis of; to form the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Underlie — Un der*lie , v. i. To lie below or under. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Underlie — Un der*lie , n. See {Underlay}, n., 1. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • underlie — index inspire Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • underlie — (v.) O.E. under licgan to be subordinate to, to submit to; see UNDER (Cf. under) + LIE (Cf. lie) (v.2). Meaning to lie under or beneath is attested from c.1600; figurative sense of to be the basis of is attested from 1852 (implied in underlying) …   Etymology dictionary

  • underlie — ► VERB (underlying; past underlay; past part. underlain) ▪ lie or be situated under. DERIVATIVES underlying adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • underlie — See overlay, overlie, underlay, underlie See underlay, underlie …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • underlie — 01. A solid belief in social justice [underlies] this party s entire political philosophy. 02. You ll need to find the [underlying] cause of the problem before you can hope to find any solution. 03. A doctor s [underlying] belief system will… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • underlie — UK [ˌʌndə(r)ˈlaɪ] / US [ˌʌndərˈlaɪ] verb [transitive] Word forms underlie : present tense I/you/we/they underlie he/she/it underlies present participle underlying UK [ˌʌndə(r)ˈlaɪɪŋ] / US [ˌʌndərˈlaɪɪŋ] past tense underlay UK [ˌʌndə(r)ˈleɪ] / US… …   English dictionary

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