Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

underwrite

play
verb un·der·write \ˈən-də(r)-ˌrīt, ˌən-də(r)-ˈ\

Simple Definition of underwrite

  • : to give money to support (something, such as a new business) and agree to be responsible for any losses if it fails

  • : to agree to pay for a certain kind of loss or damage by offering (an insurance policy)

  • : to agree to buy (shares) that are not bought by investors when the shares are first offered for sale

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of underwrite

underwrote

play \-ˌrōt, -ˈrōt\

underwritten

play \-ˌri-tən, -ˈri-tən\

underwriting

play \-ˌrī-tiŋ, -ˈrī-\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to write under or at the end of something else

  3. 2 :  to set one's name to (an insurance policy) for the purpose of thereby becoming answerable for a designated loss or damage on consideration of receiving a premium percent :  insure on life or property; also :  to assume liability for (a sum or risk) as an insurer

  4. 3 :  to subscribe to :  agree to

  5. 4 a :  to agree to purchase (as security issue) usually on a fixed date at a fixed price with a view to public distribution b :  to guarantee financial support of <underwrite a project>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to work as an underwriter

Examples of underwrite in a sentence

  1. <a university willing to underwrite an archaeological expedition>



14th Century

First Known Use of underwrite

14th century


Law Dictionary

underwrite

play
transitive verb un·der·write \ˈən-dər-ˌrīt, ˌən-dər-ˈrīt\

Legal Definition of underwrite

underwrote

\-ˌrōt, -ˈrōt\ play

underwritten

\-ˌrit-ən, -ˈrit-ən\ play

underwriting

  1. 1a :  to assume liability for (a risk) as an insurer <the insurer underwrites individuals, not the group, in franchise health insurance> b :  to issue or set the terms of (an insurance policy)

  2. 2 :  to agree to purchase (all or part of a security issue) usually on a fixed date at a fixed price with the purpose or plan to resell by means of a public offering <was a security brokerage firm which as part of its business underwrote speculative new issues — UFITEC, S.A. v. Carter, 135 Cal. Rptr. 607 (1977)>

  3. 3a :  to put up funds for or guarantee financial support of b :  to assess the risk of (as a loan)





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up underwrite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

at a gallop

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommadate accomodate acommodate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ