lie behind (someone or something)

(redirected from lies behind them)

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 classic literature ?
But of recent years my understanding of human nature has become such that I realize that no normal healthy human would tolerate such performances did he or she know the terrible cruelty that lies behind them and makes them possible.
"And what is the thing that lies behind them?" she asked.
And, in fairness, Epstein acknowledges the cost-containing potential of global budgets but rightly notes that they "work only as well as the political system that lies behind them." One could go on with examples of individual claims--or topical discussions--which reveal the clarity with which Richard Epstein can discuss issues.