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-

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
4
a
: 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

Examples of underwrite in a Sentence

a university willing to underwrite an archaeological expedition
Recent Examples on the Web Enforcement worldwide hinged on the G7 group of industrial nations policing the marine insurers that underwrite the cargo, as well as their re-insurers, most of whom are collectively headquartered in the west. Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 25 Sep. 2023 The Pre Classic is underwritten by Nike and normally takes place earlier in the year. Ken Goe For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 15 Sep. 2023 At the time, Nancy was unaware that Bob had also purchased a travel insurance policy underwritten by Allianz from the AAA Travel agent for $942. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 7 Sep. 2023 That is especially true if substandard jobs are underwritten by the taxpayer. Jonathan Weisman, New York Times, 27 Aug. 2023 Google Search underwrites the economy of the modern web, distributing attention and revenue to much of the internet. James Vincent, The Verge, 26 June 2023 Apple, in the first season of a 10-year $2.5-billion agreement to carry league games on its Apple TV streaming platform, will help underwrite the contract as will Adidas, the league’s kit sponsor, which has worked with Messi since 2006. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2023 Less than 10 percent of the budget of the National Institutes of Health underwrites longevity research. Robert Weisman, BostonGlobe.com, 14 Sep. 2023 Theories subsequently were bandied about, often revolving around one of the banks underwriting the Twitter deal, Morgan Stanley for example, giving Musk a bridge loan in order to secure fees and bonuses linked to the successful completion of the purchase. Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'underwrite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near underwrite

Cite this Entry

“Underwrite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underwrite. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition

underwrite

verb
un·​der·​write ˈən-də(r)-ˌrīt How to pronounce underwrite (audio)
ˌən-də(r)-ˈrīt
underwrote -ˌrōt How to pronounce underwrite (audio)
-ˈrōt
; underwritten -ˌrit-ᵊn How to pronounce underwrite (audio)
-ˈrit-ᵊn
; underwriting -ˌrīt-iŋ How to pronounce underwrite (audio)
-ˈrīt-
1
: to write under or at the end of something else
2
: to set one's name to (an insurance policy) and thereby agree to insure against specified loss or damage
3
: to agree to
4
a
: to agree to purchase (as security issue) usually on a fixed date at a fixed price with a plan of distribution to the public
b
: to guarantee financial support of
underwrite an expedition
underwriter
ˈən-də(r)-ˌrīt-ər
noun

Legal Definition

underwrite

transitive verb
underwrote -ˌrōt, -ˈrōt How to pronounce underwrite (audio) ; underwritten -ˌrit-ᵊn, -ˈrit-ᵊn How to pronounce underwrite (audio) ; underwriting
1
a
: 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)
3
a
: to put up funds for or guarantee financial support of
b
: to assess the risk of (as a loan)

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