underpinning

noun
un·​der·​pin·​ning | \ˈən-dər-ˌpi-niŋ \

Definition of underpinning 

1 : the material and construction (such as a foundation) used for support of a structure

2 : something that serves as a foundation : basis, support often used in plural the philosophical underpinnings of educational methods

3 : underwear usually used in plural

4 : a person's legs usually used in plural

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Examples of underpinning in a Sentence

the underpinnings of the theory have recently been called into question the underpinnings of the bridge were seriously damaged in the collision

Recent Examples on the Web

With George Fludas powering the music forward on drums and Jake Vinsel providing firm sonic underpinning on bass, Weiss was airborne practically from the start. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Pianist Michael Weiss evokes memories of Johnny Griffin," 22 June 2018 In addition to tracing the sweep of recovery and perseverance, Coming to My Senses digs into the psychological underpinnings of why athletes push themselves to physical extremes. Heather Hansman, Outside Online, "The Newest Adventure Movies You Can Watch Right Now," 12 July 2018 Russia’s underpinnings industry is developing slowly by comparison, still focused on fussy lace and rigid wires. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "This Russian Lingerie Label Is Creating Cozy, Comfortable, and Sexy Underwear for All," 12 July 2018 Psychologists have traditionally thought of hunger and emotions as separate, with hunger and other physical states as basic drives with different physiological and neural underpinnings from emotions. Jennifer Maccormack, Washington Post, "If you’ve ever been hangry, this is what your body may be telling you," 9 July 2018 Psychologists have traditionally thought of hunger and emotions as separate, with hunger and other physical states as basic drives with different physiological and neural underpinnings from emotions. Jennifer Maccormack, CNN, "When you go from hungry to 'hangry'," 14 June 2018 To better understand the biological underpinning to aging and longevity, scientists often start with the oldest people on earth, centenarians. Bernhard Warner, BostonGlobe.com, "Why women live longer than men — and how men will benefit from it," 13 Apr. 2018 Núñez is, like his fellow top chefs, catapulting ancient underpinnings—old strains of corn or peppers, techniques that stretch back to Mesoamerica—into something unexpected. Mary Kaye Schilling, Town & Country, "Discovering the Culture of Mexico City," 18 Oct. 2016 But, by pooling the work of so many groups, the Brainstorm Consortium was able to go beyond this and cross-correlate the putative genetic underpinnings of 25 psychiatric and neurological problems. The Economist, "A big collaboration is trying to understand diseases of the psyche," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underpinning.' 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 underpinning

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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The first known use of underpinning was in the 15th century

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