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 Mahood was a veteran prober of Area 51 secrets, having, for instance, dug into the conspiratorial claims of Bob Lazar, whose stories underpin most of the site’s alien lore. Sarah Scoles, Popular Science, "A CIA spyplane crashed outside Area 51 a half-century ago. This explorer found it.," 5 Jan. 2021 But unlike the sophisticated machine-learning algorithms that underpin the modern Internet, Stanford’s system was actually just a basic formula, simple enough for an Excel spreadsheet. Washington Post, "Algorithms are deciding who gets the first vaccines. Should we trust them?," 19 Dec. 2020 Unlike its counterparts in other countries, the FDA is believed to be the only drug regulator in the world that consistently receives and reviews patient-level data from the clinical trials that underpin drug and vaccine approvals. Peter Doshi, STAT, "Did the FDA understaff its review of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine?," 17 Dec. 2020 The vehicle, rumored to be code-named Landjet, will be built on the PPE architecture that will underpin high-end electric vehicles from Audi, Porsche, and Bentley. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Audi Design Chief Details 'Project Artemis,' Future Premium Autonomous Vehicle," 12 Dec. 2020 This is the label for the European Union’s longstanding worry that post-Brexit Britain may undercut the social, labour, environmental and state-subsidy rules that underpin its single market. The Economist, "Last tango in Brussels A thin, last-minute Brexit trade deal is better than no deal at all," 12 Dec. 2020 In South Africa, the crisis has highlighted some of the deep injustices that underpin the country’s food-production system. Linda Nordling, Scientific American, "Pandemic of Hunger," 25 Nov. 2020 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo implied that President Trump won the 2020 presidential election, despite the accumulating vote tallies that underpin a growing consensus that Joe Biden is the president-elect. Washington Examiner, "Pompeo: 'There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration'," 10 Nov. 2020 But the fact remains that while these medicines could be future blockbusters, there is not much in AstraZeneca's current revenue and profit picture to underpin the 33% increase in the company's share price since the start of the pandemic. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "AstraZeneca’s stock is soaring on COVID, but the pandemic has dented its growth," 6 Nov. 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.

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First Known Use of underpin

1522, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for underpin

Time Traveler

The first known use of underpin was in 1522

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underpin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underpin. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for underpin


How to pronounce underpin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of underpin

: to strengthen or support (something) from below

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