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 a deal that links two of Arizona's emerging industries, an Asian semiconductor giant will underwrite research by a Phoenix genomics institute to track infectious-disease outbreaks, including variants of the COVID-19 virus. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 8 June 2021 The expressway authority for years has been stymied in its attempts to get state approval to entirely underwrite the hiring and equipping of a significant increase in troopers assigned to agency toll roads. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, 20 May 2021 Donations to the nonprofit help underwrite that effort or can be directed toward scholarships and life-skills tutorials for local youths. Jonathan M. Pitts, baltimoresun.com, 20 May 2021 Legislators in March assigned $1.1 billion to backfill the state’s unemployment insurance trust, underwrite roadway projects, provide several years of tuition-free college to in-state students and shore up finances at state museums. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 4 May 2021 Nearly half of Wyoming’s land is federally owned, as are two-thirds of the mineral reserves that underwrite the state’s largest industry, energy production. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2021 The initial goal is $100,000, which Lemoine says will underwrite filming, production and flight costs. Eric Tegler, Forbes, 19 Mar. 2021 Their Wall Street arms, which underwrite stock offerings and trade stocks, posted strong results in a roaring market. David Benoit, WSJ, 18 May 2021 In addition, Discount Tire helped to underwrite the cost of all-new flooring with a donation valued at $30,000. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 May 2021

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

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underwrite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underwrite. Accessed 17 Jun. 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)

More from Merriam-Webster on underwrite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for underwrite

Nglish: Translation of underwrite for Spanish Speakers

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