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[uhn-der-gurd] /ˌʌn dərˈgɜrd/
verb (used with object), undergirded or undergirt, undergirding.
to strengthen; secure, as by passing a rope or chain under and around:
to undergird a top-heavy load.
to give fundamental support; provide with a sound or secure basis:
ethics undergirded by faith.
Origin of undergird
1520-30; under- + gird Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for undergird
  • But it will never be time to kiss off the values and principles that undergird the idea.
  • Such pursuits enhance the feelings of meaning and social connection that undergird happiness.
  • Those principles undergird the concept of evidence-based services and evidence-based practice.
  • The exhibit text explains the engineering concepts that undergird the construction of the structures.
  • The values and beliefs put forth should reflect the principles and guiding factors that undergird people's decisions and actions.
  • History teaches us that democracy and regional economic development help undergird regional peace and stability.
British Dictionary definitions for undergird


verb -girds, -girding, -girded, -girt
(transitive) to strengthen or reinforce by passing a rope, cable, or chain around the underside of (an object, load, etc)
Word Origin
C16: from under- + gird1
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 undergird

1520s, from under + gird (v.). Related: Undergirded; undergirding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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