lie at the bottom of (something)

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lie at the bottom of (something)

To be the fundamental cause of something. Stubbornness lies at the bottom of every unresolved disagreement.
See also: bottom, lie, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

be/lie at the ˈbottom of something

be the basic cause of something: Racist feelings almost certainly lie at the bottom of these recent attacks.
See also: bottom, lie, of, something
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
He died two years afterwards, still raving about the treasures that lie at the bottom of the sea.
The first words I heard Monks say were these: "So the only proofs of the boy's identity lie at the bottom of the river, and the old hag that received them from the mother is rotting in her coffin." They laughed, and talked of his success in doing this; and Monks, talking on about the boy, and getting very wild, said that though he had got the young devil's money safely know, he'd rather have had it the other way; for, what a game it would have been to have brought down the boast of the father's will, by driving him through every jail in town, and then hauling him up for some capital felony which Fagin could easily manage, after having made a good profit of him besides.'
The shark's potential dinner includes a divorced couple searching for a new source of energy, and a pair of thieves who are looking for stolen goods that may lie at the bottom of the river.
The plan was to scan the plume for evidence of water, believed to lie at the bottom of freezing cold polar craters.
They lie at the bottom of Group A on four points, four behind second-placed Primeiro Agosto with just one match remaining.
AEGEAN SEA -- Civilization blossomed dramatically during the Bronze Age 3,000 to 5,000 years ago; major clues to explain this critical turning point in human history lie at the bottom of the ocean--in artifacts aboard shipwrecks.
The Tynesiders have won only two UniBond League Premier Division matches this season and lie at the bottom of the table.
The cells that repeatedly drive the renewal process are just nine stem cells that lie at the bottom of each crypt, according to the researchers.
The only places on Earth that are as flat lie at the bottom of the oceans, notes Smith.
It is believed water ice could lie at the bottom of dark craters at the Moon's poles, where temperatures are lower than minus 170C.
They lie at the bottom of Group A with three points, six behind leaders ES Setif of Algeria and three adrift of Vita and Angola's Santos.
The debris isn't simply rolling downhill, because the smoothed regions do not lie at the bottom of slopes.
The Petroleum side conceded the match's sole goal in the second half of the game, and now they lie at the bottom of Group A.