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

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 Both sides accepted the compromise to protect the open border, which helps underpin the peace process in Northern Ireland. Danica Kirka, Fox News, "Brexit: Boris Johnson rails against EU in push for new bill as Miliband hits back," 14 Sep. 2020 But many of those technological features underpin a device that today has helped make Apple the world's most valuable public company, with its market cap exceeding $2 trillion last month — the iPad. Rishi Iyengar, CNN, "Decades before the iPad, Apple's Newton tablet system was deemed a massive failure," 14 Sep. 2020 The Federal Reserve's massive aid for the economy has helped underpin the markets' recovery from the coronavirus downturn by slashing short-term interest rates to record lows and buying up bonds to support markets. Yuri Kageyama, Star Tribune, "Asia shares rise as investors look ahead to Fed meeting," 13 Sep. 2020 Avaloq provides software for financial institutions that helps underpin digital banking and wealth management platforms. Myriam Balezou, Bloomberg.com, "ION, NEC Said to Compete for Stake in Swiss Tech Firm Avaloq," 4 Sep. 2020 The entire digital ecosystem relies so heavily on reliable, affordable electricity, from home internet connections to the base stations that underpin cellular networks to the data centers that store the internet’s content. Rose Mutiso, Scientific American, "Why Hasn’t Africa Gone Digital?," 11 Aug. 2020 International banks, which underpin the city’s status as a finance center and gateway to China, have become skittish of the law and of getting caught between Washington and Beijing. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, "Beijing’s Doublespeak in Hong Kong," 10 Aug. 2020 There was no specific research on famotidine’s coronavirus-fighting potential to underpin a clinical trial involving hundreds of COVID-19 patients. Jason Dearen, The Denver Post, "Pepcid as a COVID remedy? Trump administration’s $21 million gamble fizzles," 23 July 2020 Any of those stressors may underpin a case chronic of chronic insomnia, but there’s normally more involved, Dr. Malow says. Claire Gillespie, Health.com, "What Is Insomnia? Everything You Need to Know About the Common Sleep Disorder," 29 July 2020

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

Time Traveler for underpin

Time Traveler

The first known use of underpin was in 1522

See more words from the same year

Statistics for underpin

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Underpin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underpin. Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for underpin


How to pronounce underpin (audio)

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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