un·​der·​pin·​ning | \ ˈən-dər-ˌpi-niŋ How to pronounce underpinning (audio) \

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 The technology underpinning it is called blockchain, a sort of digital ledger. Ramishah Maruf, CNN, "Everything you need to know about bitcoin," 22 Apr. 2021 Contracts are foundational to commercial relationships, yet accuracy, certainty and speed have long been neglected as an underpinning in this critical business process. Andrew Bruce, Forbes, "It's Time For Modern Enterprise To Automate Transactions," 9 Apr. 2021 Over a table set with Elbaz’s dream dinner guests, the pair discussed the philosophy underpinning AZ Factory’s launch. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Alber Elbaz and Hamish Bowles Discuss AZ Factory at Vogue's Forces of Fashion," 25 Apr. 2021 Entrepreneurs have for years dreamed of using blockchain technology, the concepts and software underpinning bitcoin, to enable digital trading of virtually any asset. Paul Vigna, WSJ, "GameStop and Bitcoin Renewed a Push to Digitize the Stock Market," 8 Apr. 2021 Industrial real estate seems poised to be the underpinning of the commercial real estate sector as large brokerage firms and CRE think tanks forecast good tidings. Ryan Botwinick, Forbes, "Industrial Real Estate Is A Safe Haven In These Uncertain Times," 10 Mar. 2021 That’s been a story for many businesses, and hopes that the vaccine rollout will help get people back into stores have been an underpinning of the stock market’s recent rally. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, "Witching Day On Wall Street: Stable Start After Thursday Selloff As Treasury Yields Ease," 19 Mar. 2021 And the finding serves to underline what complex machines bicycles really are, and how imperfect is the theoretical underpinning of their dynamics. John Matson, Scientific American, "A Bicycle Built for None: What Makes a Riderless Bike Stable?," 14 Apr. 2011 UBS Group AG analysts found the platform underpinning VW’s EV models will be fully cost competitive with Tesla and boast best-in-class energy density and efficiency. Christoph Rauwald, Fortune, "Volkwagen’s new electric car is the most ‘credible’ challenger yet to Tesla, new UBS report says," 4 Mar. 2021

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

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Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underpinning.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underpinning. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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