Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To lay beneath; put under; specifically, in printing, to reinforce with underlays.
  • To support by laying something under.
  • In mining, to incline from the perpendicular; hade: said of a vein. See the noun.
  • noun In mining, same as hade.
  • noun In printing, a bit or bits of paper put under types or a plate to make them of proper height for receiving a good impression.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To lay beneath; to put under.
  • transitive verb To raise or support by something laid under. See Underlay, n., 2.
  • transitive verb Prov. Eng. To put a tap on (a shoe).
  • noun (Mining) The inclination of a vein, fault, or lode from the vertical; a hade; -- called also underlie.
  • noun (Print.) A thickness of paper, pasteboard, or the like, placed under a cut, or stereotype plate, or under type, in the form, to bring it, or any part of it, to the proper height; also, something placed back of a part of the tympan, so as to secure the right impression.
  • intransitive verb (Mining) To incline from the vertical; to hade; -- said of a vein, fault, or lode.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Simple past of underlie.
  • verb To lay something underneath something else
  • verb To provide a support for something
  • noun A layer (of earth, etc.) that lies under another; substratum.
  • noun A soft floor covering that lies under a carpet.
  • noun Anything that is underlaid
  • noun music Lyrics; or more specifically, the way in which lyrics are assigned to musical notes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb put (something) under or beneath
  • noun a pad placed under a carpet
  • verb raise or support (the level of printing) by inserting a piece of paper or cardboard under the type
  • verb provide with a base, support, lining, or backing

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English underleyen, from Old English underlecgan ("to underlay, prop, support"), equivalent to under- +‎ lay. Cognate with Dutch onderleggen ("to lay or put under"), German unterlegen ("to underlay"), Swedish underlägga ("to underlay").

Examples

  • He liked to idealize whatever tacit or explicit bargain underlay his relationships with Bubi and Walter (eventually Otto in "The Nowaks") and finally Heinz, with whom the writer exchanged rings and went on the run once Hitler clamped down and the German draft law threatened to scoop the boy into the army or prison.

    Darling Me

  • He liked to idealize whatever tacit or explicit bargain underlay his relationships with Bubi and Walter (eventually Otto in "The Nowaks") and finally Heinz, with whom the writer exchanged rings and went on the run once Hitler clamped down and the German draft law threatened to scoop the boy into the army or prison.

    Darling Me

  • His eyes glittered at that, and a mercenary expression underlay the tone of his answer.

    Sense from Thought Divide

  • The same thought which is expressed in Solomon's fuller phrase underlay the expression, -- _He_ dwelt 'not in temples made with hands' but His

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and First Book of Samuel, Second Samuel, First Kings, and Second Kings chapters I to VII

  • The 3D model can be placed on top of a 3D map, aerial, or hybrid map underlay, which is used to give the models a sense of place and scale.

    Slashgeo

  • The 3D model can be placed on top of a 3D map, aerial, or hybrid map underlay, which is used to give the models a sense of place and scale.

    Slashgeo

  • Widely considered too stupid and lazy for skilled labor, most of the first large wave of Irish immigrants were hired to dig the canals that underlay the Industrial Revolution.

    A Renegade History of the United States

  • This device, in other words, meant the music would be the identifiable underlay but with different lyrics on top.

    Fallin’ Up

  • So he zeroed in on the single characteristic he thought underlay the myriad of abilities we push together and call intelligence.

    Red Flags or Red Herrings?

  • The skipper offered him a medal but declined to acknowledge the dramatic particulars that underlay it.

    The Things They Buried

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