9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uhn-der-rit-n, uhn-der-rit-] /ˌʌn dərˈrɪt n, ˈʌn dərˌrɪt-/
past participle of underwrite.


[uhn-der-rahyt, uhn-der-rahyt] /ˌʌn dərˈraɪt, ˈʌn dərˌraɪt/
verb (used with object), underwrote, underwritten, underwriting.
to write under or at the foot of, especially under other written matter.
to sign one's name, as to a document.
to show agreement with or to support by or as if by signing one's name to, as a statement or decision.
to bind oneself to contribute a sum of money to (an undertaking):
Wealthy music lovers underwrote the experimental concerts.
to guarantee the sale of (a security issue to be offered to the public for subscription).
  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.
to underwrite something.
to carry on the business of an underwriter.
Origin of underwrite
1400-50; late Middle English, translation of Latin subscrībere to write underneath, sign, subscribe Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for underwritten
  • If this bee can work as a pollinator its initial setup to function in agriculture should be underwritten by any number of sources.
  • And it's underwritten much of my own thinking and scholarship over the years.
  • The meeting was free, its costs underwritten by pharmaceutical companies, which had set up marketing booths in the entryway.
  • Society is calmed, and not so much by what is found in the study as by the display of official energy, the activity underwritten.
  • It is heavily underwritten by casino and fossil-fuel money.
  • Investors can become comfortable with standardized mortgages that are underwritten with specific criteria satisfied.
  • Real insurance is a policy underwritten by a travel-insurance company.
  • But these are not the zero-sum, repent-or-burn outcomes that have underwritten the business so effectively over the years.
  • Although conditions are tougher than they were, much of the financing is underwritten.
  • Moreover, the premiums they charged were too low for the risks they had underwritten, which often guaranteed generous returns.
British Dictionary definitions for underwritten


/ˈʊndəˌraɪt; ˌʌndəˈraɪt/
verb (transitive) -writes, -writing, -wrote, -written
(finance) to undertake to purchase at an agreed price any unsold portion of (a public issue of shares, etc)
to accept financial responsibility for (a commercial project or enterprise)
  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
to write (words, a signature, etc) beneath (other written matter); subscribe
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for underwritten



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for underwritten

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for underwritten

Scrabble Words With Friends