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

intransitive verb

: to work as an underwriter

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Synonyms & Antonyms for underwrite

Synonyms

bankroll, capitalize, endow, finance, fund, stake, subsidize

Antonyms

defund

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Examples of underwrite in a Sentence

a university willing to underwrite an archaeological expedition

Recent Examples on the Web

In the north-western regions that are India’s most arid, such as Rajasthan and Gujarat, the baolis underwrote life, as sources of both irrigation and drinking water. The Economist, "India’s magnificent stepwells are relics of a nuanced history," 13 July 2019 There was concern that shuttering the unit would damage other parts of the investment-banking business, such as underwriting initial public offerings. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Deutsche Bank’s big overhaul leaves investors unimpressed," 8 July 2019 The bill authorized Wolf’s administration to borrow up to $90 million to help counties underwrite a tab expected to exceed $100 million. Washington Post, "Voting machines bill vetoed in fight over election changes," 5 July 2019 Instead of driving additional exploitation of the world’s natural resources, those monies should be shifted to incentivize protection and restoration of nature—such as underwriting new reserves or reforestation programs, the report said. Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "One million species at risk of extinction, UN report warns," 6 May 2019 The mentoring sessions and art exhibition were underwritten with grants from two local art accessibility organizations, Synergy Arts Foundation in Solana Beach and the Revision Creative Arts Program in Old Town. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Radically Inclusive’ project gives career training to young artists with autism," 30 June 2019 The festival is put on by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic and is underwritten in part by Facebook. Ahiza Garcia, CNN, "Mark Zuckerberg to speak at Aspen Ideas conference about privacy and regulation," 25 June 2019 It’s funded entirely by Small, who has also underwritten the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection at GWU. John Kelly, Washington Post, "For years, a D.C. developer has paid to send high school students to Normandy," 5 June 2019 The creation and evolution of the modern postal service provided that infrastructure, which then underwrote centuries of increasingly creative criminal acts. Simon R. Gardner, The Atlantic, "98 Years of Mail Fraud," 4 May 2018

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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Statistics for underwrite

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for underwrite

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

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More Definitions for underwrite

underwrite

verb

Financial Definition of underwrite

What It Is

Underwriting is the process that a lender or other financial service uses to assess the creditworthiness or risk of a potential customer.

Underwriting also refers to an investment banker's process of packaging and selling a security on behalf of a client.

How It Works

Underwriting refers to the structured process used by financial service companies, such as banks, investors, or insurers, to determine and price the risk from a potential client.  The underwriting process is a detailed and systematic analysis of a potential borrower's credit-worthiness, including employment history, salary, financial statements and performance, publicly available information, and independent credit reports.  The underwriting process is intended to determine the credit needs, the quality of the collateral assets to be used to support the borrowing, and the borrower's ability to repay the debt.  Upon completion of a formal underwriting process and a summary presented to a credit committee within the lender, the lender will either approve or reject the request for a loan.

Similarly, an insurance company will evaluate the risks of a potential candidate for insurance, based on a variety of actuarial factors.  The bottom line from such an underwriting process is to price the insurance in accordance with its associated risk.

In securities trading, underwriting also includes assessing the risk and pricing the security accordingly.  However, the formal underwriting process also involves agreeing to buy the security (by the underwriter) and then selling the security for a profit.  The underwriter effectively takes a risk by agreeing to buy the security at the established price.  In most instances, underwriters will line up buyers for the securities before they take on the security, so that it can "flip" the security to the buyer immediately.

Why It Matters

Underwriting is a critical step in the credit analysis and risk pricing process for almost all financial service companies.  For companies, understanding the underwriting process and the requirements at each stage of the process will allow a company to prepare and present itself accordingly.  For investors, the information contained in an underwriting is crucial to understanding the risks and potential rewards from a security's underlying asset.

Source: Investing Answers

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with underwrite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for underwrite

Spanish Central: Translation of underwrite

Nglish: Translation of underwrite for Spanish Speakers

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