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[uhn-der-pin] /ˌʌn dərˈpɪn/
verb (used with object), underpinned, underpinning.
to prop up or support from below; strengthen, as by reinforcing a foundation.
to replace or strengthen the foundation of (a building or the like).
to furnish a foundation for; corroborate:
The author's conclusions are underpinned by references to experimental findings.
Origin of underpin
1515-25; under- + pin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for underpin
  • They provide access to new ideas and technologies that underpin national innovation.
  • The skills they possess underpin the technological advances that drive improvements in productivity and living standards.
  • More deeply, the ideas that underpin monarchism would appear to enjoy scant support.
  • Once scorned as nervous tics, certain tiny, unconscious flicks of the eyes now turn out to underpin much of our ability to see.
  • The same brain areas and processes underpin motor imagery and motor execution.
  • Such experiments merely confirm that physiological processes underpin all our perceptions, plans, choices and actions.
  • The protesters' preoccupations vary from place to place, as do the economic data that underpin them.
  • The spread of prosperity into the hinterlands, through flows in trade and investment, underpin the dream of integration.
  • Private schemes underpin public policies that are themselves in flux.
  • Governments gave gold to the fund in the first place to underpin its lending, not to pay its salaries.
British Dictionary definitions for underpin


verb (transitive) -pins, -pinning, -pinned
to support from beneath, esp by a prop, while avoiding damaging or weakening the superstructure: to underpin a wall
to give corroboration, strength, or support to
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for underpin

1520s (figurative); 1530s (literal), from under + pin (v.). Related: Underpinned; underpinning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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