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

Her name is on texts recording the opening of mines and quarries, whose wealth would underwrite the achievements of the 18th dynasty. National Geographic, "How three rebel queens of Egypt overthrew an empire and gave birth to a new kingdom," 7 Mar. 2019 Mensans can find talks on everything from computers to zoology at the group’s gatherings, and the organization presents awards for scientific research and underwrites programs for gifted youth. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "Mensa’s Debate: Deep Thinking or Games and Drinking?," 1 Jan. 2019 Among the proposals Miller described Monday: Using some of the property taxes from the site’s commercial development to underwrite a bond the county would use to buy the land. Caitlin Mccabe, Philly.com, "Developer to Delco residents: We want to preserve archdiocese land, but we need your support," 11 May 2018 The City Council during its meeting Tuesday will consider a request from staff to suspend and evaluate the program, which typically places the trees or fixtures as memorials underwritten by friends and families. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Newport might be sitting out when it comes to memorial benches and other park donations," 6 July 2018 Backers of an initiative that would raise the hotel tax to underwrite a convention center expansion and boost funding for the homeless are racing against the clock to collect enough signatures in time to qualify the measure for the ballot. Lori Weisberg, sandiegouniontribune.com, "When will convention center expansion backers turn in initiative signatures?," 21 June 2018 During the hike, Al-Rumaihi allegedly requested Kwatinetz set up a meeting with Bannon to tell him that Qatar would underwrite all of Bannon's political efforts in return for support. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Ice Cube's BIG3 Slammed With New Lawsuit Alleging Steve Bannon Friend Created Hostile Workplace," 11 June 2018 Besides estimating that the errant service provider fleeced $480,000, the audit led to questions about whether Alternatives misused taxpayer money to underwrite its national expansion, and whether state oversight was lax. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Dispute questions anti-abortion group's use of taxpayer dollars," 16 Mar. 2018 Next month would be underwritten by a dandruff shampoo. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Seven scary stories to tell by the light of your screen," 31 Oct. 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

20 Jun 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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