The underlying adjective corresponds to the verb underlie, which means to be below something or to remain hidden. Thus, what underlies is what is hidden, that is, it is something that is not appreciably evident.
From an etymological point of view, the prefix sub means below, which accompanies the verb iaceo (to lie in Latin) and forms the term subiacere, which literally means lying or lying down.
The underlying word can be considered a cultism, as it is not a term commonly used in the language. In fact, the hidden synonym is more common in everyday communication.
Where is the underlying
In communication we use words that convey ideas. Apparently there is nothing but words. However, in some messages it is possible to appreciate ideas that are hidden, that is, they underlie, so they are hidden behind the words. Let's look at this idea with a hypothetical example. Someone is questioned by the police in the context of an investigation. In his story, evasive answers or excuses that are not related to the facts are appreciated. Faced with this type of message, the police may think that there is something underlying, that is, strange or hidden. This conclusion is drawn not from what the person questioned says but from what he suggests between the lines, from what is intuited and not strictly from his words.
In the field of psychoanalysis
The underlying has been analyzed by psychoanalysis, a discipline of psychology that gives a relevant role to the unconscious dimension of the human mind. In this sense, our mental activity has a conscious and rational part and, in parallel, an unconscious part that acts "below the rational". This underlying element is also not obviously appreciable, but is revealed in some manifestations of language (known failed acts or jokes), as well as in the world of dreams.
The role of the psychoanalyst is to get to know the patient and get to the information that remains hidden in his mind. This world of the underlying human mind is highly complex, as it is ignored by ourselves and a methodology is necessary to understand its mechanisms and understand the relationship of the hidden with what is manifested in external behavior or through language. .
Adaptations of the concept in economic matters
Finally, it must be remembered that the term we are analyzing here has some applications in the sphere of economics. There is the concept of underlying inflation and underlying asset, two parameters of the terminology of economic activity.