lie behind

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lie behind (someone or something)

1. To be positioned behind someone or something. The gym lies behind the school.
2. To be in someone's or something's past. Don't be concerned about what lies behind you, only what lies ahead. Everything that lies behind us is what makes us who we are—the good and the bad.
3. To be the underlying cause of, reason for, or motivation behind something. I just don't know what lies behind his anger these days. Many believe it was the government's exorbitant taxes that lay behind the population's uprising.
See also: behind, lie
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

lie behind someone or something

1. [for something] to be positioned to the rear of someone or something. A wide expanse of water lay behind the sentry, and a narrow roadway lay in front. A vast field lies behind the house.
2. [for something] to be in someone's or a group's past. Now that all of our difficulties lie behind us, we can get on with our business. The busy season lay behind the company and people could take their vacations.
See also: behind, lie
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The EU believes the elections did not proceed according to standards set by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and lie behind the recent upsurge in tension.
Endemic corruption is one factor behind the exodus; whilst the warmth, generosity and hospitality of the Romanian people lie behind the enjoyment of those who go there.
This frank statement is indicative of the openness with which Guy-Bray acknowledges the personal and political values that lie behind his interest in the subject of his study, one concerned "not solely [...] with texts" but also with "emancipatory sexual discourse" (9).
Indeed in response to the building's primary purpose--to unite four distinct and highly image conscious companies, each with its own distinct brand--significant design diplomacy was needed when considering the environment on each floor, not to mention the significant structural improvements and complex services co-ordination that lie behind the new skins.
The same learning, drill, and impersonation lie behind the work of the greatest poets of the time, Virgil, Horace, and Ovid, to name just a very few.
Mr Brown, whose constituency includes Lockerbie, said: "It is clear that Al Megrahi did not act alone and like so many terrorist activities, it has to be recognised that governments often lie behind the acts perpetrated."
"When program officers speak of risk, what they generally mean is the small risk of personal embarrassment in the event a project they fund fails." Here Dowie captures the lie behind the now-standard pledges by newly appointed presidents of grant-making foundations that theirs will be an era of "venture philanthropy." In two decades of writing about foundations (and marriage to the president of a community foundation) I have yet to meet one of these philanthropoids who published a list of failed grants.
And some of the most important traps in our thinking lie behind Richard Thompson's "Ten Roadblocks." He goes beyond invective to insight debates about regulation are really about ethics; documented legal contracts undermine mutuality; audiences for good news need to be cultivated.
UPFRONT looks at three key points of debate, and the passions that lie behind them:
I especially appreciate the way he also presented the "slippery-slope" ethical dilemmas that lie behind these processes.
From a series of such questions, a picture emerges of the different cultural assumptions which lie behind the approach of business managers in the various countries.
require an analysis of both formal and informal law."(2) One wishes that he had consulted the manuscript sources which often lie behind the courts' distillations, sources which might tell a more complex story than that afforded by Southern jurists' summary of the facts at hand.
A number of interrelated factors lie behind the GDP loss.
Pouring over "before" photographs and sketches of how the building will look, Sokolski recently pointed out the vintage elements that lie behind the contemporary installations.
The visitors lie behind the All Blacks, Australia, South Africa, France and the four home nations in the world rankings, but are no easy touch and in their last outing defeated the well fancied French.