under-pinning

underpinning

[uhn-der-pin-ing]
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.
a.
underwear, especially women's underwear.
b.
the legs.

Origin:
1480–90; under + pin + -ing1

Dictionary.com Unabridged

underpin

[uhn-der-pin]
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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World English Dictionary
underpin (ˌʌndəˈpɪn)
 
vb , -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

underpinning (ˈʌndəˌpɪnɪŋ)
 
n
a structure of masonry, concrete, etc, placed beneath a wall to provide support

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

underpinning
1489, "action of supporting or strengthening from beneath," from under + pp. of pin (v.). Fig. sense of "prop, support" is recorded from 1589.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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