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 underwrote (audio) , ˈən-​də-​ , ˌən-​dər-​ˈrōt , ˌən-​də-​ \; underwritten\ ˈən-​dər-​ˌri-​tᵊn How to pronounce underwritten (audio) , ˈən-​də-​ , ˌən-​dər-​ˈri-​tᵊn , ˌən-​də-​ \; underwriting\ ˈən-​dər-​ˌrī-​tiŋ How to pronounce underwriting (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

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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 China’s commercial banks can neither underwrite stocks nor offer brokerage services, which are left to securities firms—a division that officials believe makes the financial system safer. The Economist, "Xi sank your battleship As foreign banks circle, China plots an “aircraft-carrier” defence," 4 July 2020 The upstart uses artificial intelligence and other tools to rapidly underwrite and pay claims via its popular smartphone app. Telis Demos, WSJ, "Lemonade Is Priced for Sweet Outlook," 2 July 2020 The grant will underwrite a series of videos produced by San Antonio women who know poverty first-hand. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Ayala: In a time of change, YWCA San Antonio takes on challenge to reverse misconceptions about the poor," 27 June 2020 But to take those under $250 to underwrite repairs this week, supporters created a gofundme page to temporarily handle smaller gifts. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Donations pour in for Louisville abortion clinic following vandalism during protests," 5 June 2020 Not only is the coronavirus redefining daily life for Saudis, but plummeting oil prices are robbing the kingdom of the enormous wealth that was underwriting the new Saudi Arabia. Vivian Yee, BostonGlobe.com, "Saudi Arabia’s big dreams and easy living hit a wall," 16 May 2020 Not only is the coronavirus redefining daily life for Saudis, but plummeting oil prices are robbing the kingdom of the enormous wealth that was underwriting the new Saudi Arabia. Vivian Yee, New York Times, "Saudi Arabia’s Big Dreams and Easy Living Hit a Wall," 16 May 2020 German Chancellor Angela Merkel, backed by the leaders of Austria and the Netherlands, has opposed the idea of issuing common EU debt on grounds that her taxpayers would effectively be underwriting spending by poorer member states. Charles Riley, CNN, "China could emerge from the pandemic even stronger," 17 Apr. 2020 With fewer claims to pay out, some health insurers are using their improved balance sheets to help struggling providers secure loans, pay claims earlier and, in some cases, underwrite patients’ outstanding bills. WSJ, "Coronavirus Updates: Insurers Flex Balance Sheets to Help Hospitals, Doctors," 4 May 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

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Underwrite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underwrite. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for underwrite

underwrite

verb
How to pronounce underwrite (audio)

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 underwrote (audio) \; underwritten\ -​ˌrit-​ᵊn, -​ˈrit-​ᵊn How to pronounce underwritten (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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More from Merriam-Webster on underwrite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for underwrite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with underwrite

Spanish Central: Translation of underwrite

Nglish: Translation of underwrite for Spanish Speakers

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