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underlying - definition and synonyms


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adjective [only before noun] underlying pronunciation in British English /ˌʌndə(r)ˈlaɪɪŋ/
  1. 1
    underlying causes, facts, ideas etc are the real or basic ones, although they are not obvious or directly stated

    The underlying causes of the riots have been ignored.

    While superficially similar, the two films have very different underlying messages.

  2. 2
    business an underlying number or amount shows what the true amount or level of something is

    There was another fall in the underlying rate of inflation last month.

  3. 3
    existing under the surface of something

    underlying rock

    Synonyms and related words

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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an electric skateboard

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