underwrite

verb
un·​der·​write | \ ˈən-dər-ˌrīt How to pronounce underwrite (audio) , ˈən-də-, ˌən-dər-ˈrīt, ˌən-də- \
underwrote\ ˈən-​dər-​ˌrōt How to pronounce underwrite (audio) , ˈən-​də-​ , ˌən-​dər-​ˈrōt , ˌən-​də-​ \; underwritten\ ˈən-​dər-​ˌri-​tᵊn How to pronounce underwrite (audio) , ˈən-​də-​ , ˌən-​dər-​ˈri-​tᵊn , ˌən-​də-​ \; underwriting\ ˈən-​dər-​ˌrī-​tiŋ How to pronounce underwrite (audio) , ˈən-​də-​ , ˌən-​dər-​ˈrī-​ , ˌən-​də-​ \

Definition of underwrite

transitive verb

1 : to write under or at the end of something else
2 : to set one's name to (an insurance policy) for the purpose of thereby becoming answerable for a designated loss or damage on consideration of receiving a premium percent : insure on life or property also : to assume liability for (a sum or risk) as an insurer
3 : to subscribe to : agree to
4a : to agree to purchase (something, such as security issue) usually on a fixed date at a fixed price with a view to public distribution
b : to guarantee financial support of underwrite a project

intransitive verb

: to work as an underwriter

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Synonyms & Antonyms for underwrite

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of underwrite in a Sentence

a university willing to underwrite an archaeological expedition
Recent Examples on the Web In addition to the residency, the grant money is being used to underwrite the creation of three new community murals — one for the museum’s campus, one for the West Side and one for the East Side — this summer. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio Museum of Art celebrates jazz with pop-up studio, free art kits," 3 May 2021 Last year, Goldman Sachs took its own stand, vowing to not underwrite the public offerings of companies without diverse boards. Fortune, "The all-male board is almost dead among major U.S. IPOs," 23 Feb. 2021 Holmgren says but the company is seeking assistance in the form of a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to underwrite debt associated with standing up its Georgia plant. Eric Tegler, Forbes, "With Investment From Shell, LanzaJet Looks To Produce 10 Million Gallons Of Ethanol-Based Jet Fuel By 2023," 9 Apr. 2021 That will leave less to be used to underwrite the dozens of Olympic sports that aren't self-sustaining. Eddie Pells, Star Tribune, "Olympic gold: Colleges, Team USA search for new ways to win," 6 Apr. 2021 Put simply, American presidents often launch expensive, long-term geopolitical endeavors that voters are unwilling to underwrite. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "The Hokey-Pokey Hegemon," 14 Mar. 2021 Proceeds help underwrite music workshops in St. Tammany Parish schools. Keith Spera, NOLA.com, "John Boutté, confirmed 'country boy,' kicks off webcast series from Mandeville's Dew Drop," 25 Jan. 2021 John Engler's administration, via the Michigan Strategic Fund, used state taxes to underwrite at least $122 million in tax-free bonds to fund major landfill expansion in the state. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan sucks at recycling. Blame plentiful and cheap landfills," 5 Jan. 2021 The goal is to mobilize the Latino community to vote in Georgia's runoff election and the donations will be used to underwrite text and phone banking, mailers, canvassing, bus tours and other voter mobilization efforts. Allen Kim, CNN, "Lin-Manuel Miranda and Pearl Jam unite for Georgia Senate runoffs fundraiser," 3 Dec. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for underwrite

Time Traveler

The first known use of underwrite was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underwrite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underwrite. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for underwrite

underwrite

verb

English Language Learners Definition of underwrite

formal : to give money to support (something, such as a new business) and agree to be responsible for any losses if it fails
technical : to agree to pay for a certain kind of loss or damage by offering (an insurance policy)
technical : to agree to buy (shares) that are not bought by investors when the shares are first offered for sale

underwrite

transitive verb
un·​der·​write | \ ˈən-dər-ˌrīt, ˌən-dər-ˈrīt How to pronounce underwrite (audio) \
underwrote\ -​ˌrōt, -​ˈrōt How to pronounce underwrite (audio) \; underwritten\ -​ˌrit-​ᵊn, -​ˈrit-​ᵊn How to pronounce underwrite (audio) \; underwriting

Legal Definition of underwrite

1a : to assume liability for (a risk) as an insurer the insurer underwrites individuals, not the group, in franchise health insurance
b : to issue or set the terms of (an insurance policy)
2 : to agree to purchase (all or part of a security issue) usually on a fixed date at a fixed price with the purpose or plan to resell by means of a public offering was a security brokerage firm which as part of its business underwrote speculative new issuesUFITEC, S.A. v. Carter, 135 Cal. Rptr. 607 (1977)
3a : to put up funds for or guarantee financial support of
b : to assess the risk of (as a loan)

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Nglish: Translation of underwrite for Spanish Speakers

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