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underwrite

[uhn-der-rahyt, uhn-der-rahyt] /ˌʌn dərˈraɪt, ˈʌn dərˌraɪt/
verb (used with object), underwrote, underwritten, underwriting.
1.
to write under or at the foot of, especially under other written matter.
2.
to sign one's name, as to a document.
3.
to show agreement with or to support by or as if by signing one's name to, as a statement or decision.
4.
to bind oneself to contribute a sum of money to (an undertaking):
Wealthy music lovers underwrote the experimental concerts.
5.
to guarantee the sale of (a security issue to be offered to the public for subscription).
6.
Insurance.
  1. to write one's name at the end of (a policy), thereby becoming liable in case of certain losses specified in the policy.
  2. to insure.
  3. to assume liability to the extent of (a specified sum) by way of insurance.
  4. to select or rate (risks) for insurance.
verb (used without object), underwrote, underwritten, underwriting.
7.
to underwrite something.
8.
to carry on the business of an underwriter.
Origin
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English, translation of Latin subscrībere to write underneath, sign, subscribe
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for underwrite
  • They round up the capital-from pension funds, wealthy individuals, and universities-needed to underwrite a fledgling company.
  • The government would continue to underwrite loans for living costs, with nonrepayable grants for low-income students.
  • No press that demands you underwrite the costs of publication is a press you should be dealing with.
  • The industry groups have offered to help underwrite the centers' research and operating costs.
  • It cannot be expected to underwrite other countries' deficits indefinitely.
  • He would underwrite the whole first round of financing himself.
  • After all, the government will still underwrite those loans, no matter how large.
  • One of the paradoxes of speculation in securities is that the loans that underwrite it are among the safest of all investments.
  • Cash-strapped governments had hoped that private employers would underwrite workers' pensions.
  • Lenders are run for private benefit, but taxpayers underwrite them if things go wrong.
British Dictionary definitions for underwrite

underwrite

/ˈʊndəˌraɪt; ˌʌndəˈraɪt/
verb (transitive) -writes, -writing, -wrote, -written
1.
(finance) to undertake to purchase at an agreed price any unsold portion of (a public issue of shares, etc)
2.
to accept financial responsibility for (a commercial project or enterprise)
3.
(insurance)
  1. to sign and issue (an insurance policy) thus accepting liability if specified losses occur
  2. to insure (a property or risk)
  3. to accept liability up to (a specified amount) in an insurance policy
4.
to write (words, a signature, etc) beneath (other written matter); subscribe
5.
to support or concur with (a decision, statement, etc) by or as if by signature
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 underwrite
v.

early 15c., from under + write (v.). A loan-translation of Latin subscribere (see subscribe). Used literally at first; modern sense of "to accept the risk of insurance" (1620s) is from notion of signing a marine insurance policy. Meaning "to support by a guarantee of money" is recorded from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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