un·​der·​pin ˌən-dər-ˈpin How to pronounce underpin (audio)
underpinned; underpinning; underpins

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

a wall underpinned by metal beams the central beliefs that underpin a free society
Recent Examples on the Web Some are pollinators, helping in the production of fruits and vegetables, others are decomposers, recycling plants and animal matter into the soil, and many form the base of food chains that underpin natural ecosystems. Nell Lewis, CNN, 29 Nov. 2022 Much of the trial has focused on the potential for achieving the performance targets that underpin Mr. Musk’s pay package. Rebecca Elliott And Meghan Bobrowsky, WSJ, 19 Nov. 2022 While the social media chatter among Republicans tends to focus on her firebrand culture war speeches, with the assumption that those views underpin her popularity, Meloni says her positions on such issues probably cost her votes. Chico Harlan, Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2022 The new Euro model's longitudinal-engine platform will also underpin the upcoming CX-70 and CX-90. Dan Edmunds, Car and Driver, 14 Nov. 2022 In the face of these challenges, core principles must underpin CDR governance discussions. Cynthia Scharf, Fortune, 5 Nov. 2022 Despite the less optimistic outlook, certain factors will still underpin advertising growth, according to Vincent Létang, executive vice president of global market intelligence at Magna and author of the company’s reports on ad spending. Megan Graham, WSJ, 29 Sep. 2022 The Hummer architecture will underpin the upcoming electric Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, and presumably electric versions of the Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade large SUVs. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 28 June 2022 Respect, cordiality, entrepreneurial commitment, a long-term and holistic perspective, and a tireless quest for quality and improvement are the values that underpin the longevity of the Princely Family for over 900 years and 30 generations. Lgt Bank Contributor, Forbes, 1 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1522, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of underpin was in 1522

Dictionary Entries Near underpin

Cite this Entry

“Underpin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underpin. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



un·​der·​pin -ˈpin How to pronounce underpin (audio)
: to give support to
underpin an argument with evidence
: to form part of, strengthen, or replace the foundation of
underpin a structure

More from Merriam-Webster on underpin

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