underpin

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Anti-migrant sentiment that underpinned the group’s ideology was particularly strong in eastern Germany during the early 1990s, when Mundlos, Boehnhardt and Zschaepe were in their late teens and early 20s. Washington Post, "Neo-Nazi trial puts spotlight on fate of migrants in Germany," 11 July 2018 Anti-migrant sentiment that underpinned the group's ideology was particularly strong in eastern Germany during the early 1990s, when Mundlos, Boehnhardt and Zschaepe were in their late teens and early 20s. Frank Jordans, chicagotribune.com, "German suspect in neo-Nazi trial guilty of 10 killings, court finds," 11 July 2018 That’s a thorny issue for the Mittelstand—the thousands of small and midsize enterprises, often located in rural areas, that underpin German prosperity. Bloomberg.com, "Germany Has Thrived With Engineering. But the Future Is Digital," 12 June 2018 An element of fact did underpin the report, however. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Magic Mailbag: What’s the deal with Orlando’s point guard situation?," 12 July 2018 This view, in many respects, underpinned both its annexation of Crimea and its incursion into eastern Ukraine, contributing toward a conflict that has claimed 10,000 lives. Anna Arutunyan, Time, "No Matter What Happens in Helsinki, Putin Has Already Won," 10 July 2018 Those laws underpin thousands of ongoing contracts involving millions of employees. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Supreme Court Topples Precedent to Hobble Public Unions," 27 June 2018 Einstein’s equations underpin a host of real-world applications such as the global positioning satellites that make precise navigation and split-second financial transactions possible around the planet. Maya Miller, Scientific American, "Einstein’s Greatest Theory Validated on a Galactic Scale," 22 June 2018 But underpinning both cases was one political calculation: that Mrs. Clinton would win and Mr. Trump would lose. New York Times, "Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation," 16 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of underpin

1522, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about underpin

Statistics for underpin

Last Updated

31 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for underpin

The first known use of underpin was in 1522

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for underpin

underpin

verb

English Language Learners Definition of underpin

: to strengthen or support (something) from below

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!