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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 of underpinning
1480-1490
1480-90; under + pin + -ing1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for underpinnings
British Dictionary definitions for underpinnings

underpinnings

/ˈʌndəˌpɪnɪŋz/
plural noun
1.
any supporting structure or system

underpinning

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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for underpinnings

under one's nose

adverb phrase

In plain sight, although unnoticed: I'm afraid I may be missing something that's right under my nose (1548+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for underpinning

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for underpinnings

17
24
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