un·​der·​pin | \ ˌən-dər-ˈpin How to pronounce underpin (audio) \
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

But what are the rules for good behavior on a ship, the unwritten etiquette that should underpin any journey? Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "Cruise Ship Etiquette Tips: A Primer For Before You Sail," 4 Sep. 2019 The findings have shed light on the ocean’s role in governing climate and weather, and the processes that underpin our existence. David Doubilet, National Geographic, "The Sargasso Sea: Why it’s a living laboratory for change," 12 June 2019 Since the coming of professionalism and perhaps before, money has underpinned the game. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "The Tragedy of Bury and Bolton," 27 Aug. 2019 However, at its worst, the algorithm that underpinned it would actively promote false and misleading stories. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Facebook to hire veteran journalists to curate upcoming News Tab feature," 20 Aug. 2019 And he has been aided in this quest by China, which is equally bent on challenging the rules and institutions that have long underpinned the liberal order. Ivo Daalder, Twin Cities, "Ivo Daalder: The real threat to liberalism is the U.S.’ unwillingness to defend it," 15 July 2019 Visualizations like these, underpinned by data, offer insights into the workings of systemic processes and provide a way to predict developments and guide policies towards beneficial outcomes. Alicia Prager, Quartz, "A new party wants to break Bosnia’s political deadlock using computer science," 28 June 2019 Bitcoin has outperformed most traditional asset classes this year, with investors citing more institutional support for cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that underpins them. Paul Vigna, WSJ, "Bitcoin Is Back Above $10,000 and Investors Say This Rally Is Different," 22 June 2019 Walmart’s move shows that IBM’s huge bet on blockchain, the technology that underpins the digital currency bitcoin, is starting to pay off. Olga Kharif, The Seattle Times, "Walmart tells leafy green suppliers to start using blockchain," 24 Sep. 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

14 Sep 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

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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