lie behind (someone or something)

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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 ?
Each week, Shanley engages with both the countries, the issues and the human stories that lie behind them to see some of the places where tax money is spent on aid.
UPFRONT looks at three key points of debate, and the passions that lie behind them:
The enhancements include oral history interviews, contemporary recordings of speeches, music from the period, early motion pictures, maps, charts and graphs (and the data which lie behind them), photographs, drawings, advertisements, and, of course, text--including both primary documents and more recent historical analysis.
Finally David Quint makes a study of "two kinds of aristocratic boasters, the old magnate and the new courtier - and of the biases of social formation that lie behind them" (401) - concentrating on the figures of Shakespeare's Hotspur and Spenser's Braggadoccio.