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[uhn-der-pin] /ˌʌn dərˈpɪn/
verb (used with object), underpinned, underpinning.
to prop up or support from below; strengthen, as by reinforcing a foundation.
to replace or strengthen the foundation of (a building or the like).
to furnish a foundation for; corroborate:
The author's conclusions are underpinned by references to experimental findings.
Origin of underpin
First recorded in 1515-25; under- + pin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for underpinned
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Historical Examples
  • Religious laws made for their own government, which underpinned their social life, were rarely meddled with.

    The Jews of Barnow Karl Emil Franzos
  • During the latter part of the time its aisle walls were underpinned.

  • The foundation of the south side of the Choir and the south-eastern Transept have been underpinned and thoroughly repaired.

    Ely Cathedral Anonymous
British Dictionary definitions for underpinned


verb (transitive) -pins, -pinning, -pinned
to support from beneath, esp by a prop, while avoiding damaging or weakening the superstructure: to underpin a wall
to give corroboration, strength, or support to
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 underpinned



1520s (figurative); 1530s (literal), from under + pin (v.). Related: Underpinned; underpinning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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