Etymology
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underlying (adj.)

1610s, present-participle adjective from underlie.

updated on February 26, 2014

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Definitions of underlying from WordNet

underlying (adj.)
in the nature of something though not readily apparent;
an underlying meaning
Synonyms: implicit in / inherent
underlying (adj.)
located beneath or below;
underlying (adj.)
being or involving basic facts or principles;
underlying principles
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.