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underpinning

[uhn-der-pin-ing] /ˈʌn dərˌpɪn ɪŋ/
noun
1.
a system of supports beneath a wall or the like.
2.
Often, underpinnings. a foundation or basis:
to uncover the emotional underpinnings of an illness.
3.
underpinnings, Informal.
  1. underwear, especially women's underwear.
  2. the legs.
Origin
1480-1490
1480-90; under + pin + -ing1

underpin

[uhn-der-pin] /ˌʌn dərˈpɪn/
verb (used with object), underpinned, underpinning.
1.
to prop up or support from below; strengthen, as by reinforcing a foundation.
2.
to replace or strengthen the foundation of (a building or the like).
3.
to furnish a foundation for; corroborate:
The author's conclusions are underpinned by references to experimental findings.
Origin
1515-25; under- + pin
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for underpinning
  • Raise, support and lower the column to transfer the load to underpinning structure.
  • And it happens to continue to help undermine the feudal underpinning in a really positive way.
  • It is about to embark on a search for the genetic underpinning of intelligence.
  • So without that scientific underpinning there is no valid conservation.
  • And the underpinning of the reserve role is the petrodollar.
  • Things can be useful even without an understanding of the scientific principles underpinning the thing.
  • It is about to embark on a search for the genetic underpinning of intelligence.
  • But when the scientific underpinning of taxonomy itself is threatened by politics, different questions arise.
  • underpinning this debate about imbalances is a renewed focus on the balance of payments.
  • Samuelson took aim at the theoretical underpinning of globalization.
British Dictionary definitions for underpinning

underpinning

/ˈʌndəˌpɪnɪŋ/
noun
1.
a structure of masonry, concrete, etc, placed beneath a wall to provide support

underpin

/ˌʌndəˈpɪn/
verb (transitive) -pins, -pinning, -pinned
1.
to support from beneath, esp by a prop, while avoiding damaging or weakening the superstructure: to underpin a wall
2.
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 underpinning
n.

late 15c., "action of supporting or strengthening from beneath," from under + present participle of pin (v.). Figurative sense of "prop, support" is recorded from 1580s.

underpin

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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