un·​der·​pin | \ ˌən-dər-ˈpin \
underpinned; underpinning; underpins

Definition of underpin

transitive verb

1 : support, substantiate underpin a thesis with evidence
2 : to form part of, strengthen, or replace the foundation of underpin a structure underpin a sagging building

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Examples of underpin in a Sentence

a wall underpinned by metal beams the central beliefs that underpin a free society

Recent Examples on the Web

Notes of earth, tobacco and tar dominate, underpinned by red fruit and bright acidity. 2. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "Why Italy’s ‘King of Wines’ Is A Relative Bargain—For Now," 6 Dec. 2018 Without a comprehensive economic overhaul underpinned by trillions of dollars in investments, the unemployment rate for Saudi nationals could exceed 20 percent, McKinsey has warned. Aya Batrawy, The Seattle Times, "Saudi prince’s future put to the test at investment forum," 22 Oct. 2018 Her understated, minimal aesthetic is underpinned by impeccable tailoring. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "Will Princess Eugenie Wear a Stella McCartney Wedding Gown Down the Aisle Today?," 12 Oct. 2018 The proprietary EdgeHTML engine underpinning the browser will be abandoned in favor of the Chromium code used by Google’s Chrome and several other browsers. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Microsoft Edge embraces open-source Chromium code, plans move to Windows 7, 8, and Macs," 6 Dec. 2018 Some of these ideas underpinned early state-pension schemes and unemployment insurance in New Zealand, Australia and, in the first decade of the 20th century, Britain. The Economist, "The welfare state needs updating," 12 July 2018 Trump has reversed many of the federal policies underpinning the U.S. commitment to deal with global warming, seeking to incentivize coal production even as market factors have driven rapid-fire growth in renewables. Justin Worland/pueblo, Time, "How One Industrial City Is Fighting to Go Green," 12 July 2018 The question underpinning the season was whether wrestling would bring the friends back together, or whether Ruth’s behavior was ultimately unforgivable. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Love Story of Debbie and Ruth," 10 July 2018 And while a showman behind the bar, Mr. Lek smiles and grows quiet when asked about the emotions underpinning his effort. Elizabeth Williamson, New York Times, "Behind the Bar, Mixing Drinks With Aid for a Faraway Home," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underpin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of underpin

1522, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for underpin

Last Updated

5 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for underpin

The first known use of underpin was in 1522

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English Language Learners Definition of underpin

: to strengthen or support (something) from below

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Comments on underpin

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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