- a system of supports beneath a wall or the like.
- Often underpinnings. a foundation or basis: to uncover the emotional underpinnings of an illness.
- underpinnings, Informal.
- underwear, especially women's underwear.
- the legs.
Origin of underpinning
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for underpinnings
The changes are not happening yet on the surface, but in the important place, in the underpinnings of society.Can Bare Breasts Save Tunisia?
Janine di Giovanni
March 30, 2013
But a reader will never learn about the underpinnings of these friendships.Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington’s Memoir Offers Few Revelations
November 20, 2012
All of these underpinnings of growth and reputation are too important to be left to federal governments.‘Technik’ and the City: How Urban Centers Like New York and Tokyo Are Becoming Info-States
Ayesha and Parag Khanna
June 20, 2012
The Freudian underpinnings that permeated Suddenly Last Summer are also present here.Hollywood's Bad Mother Obsession
December 29, 2010
His performance style and guitar playing provided the underpinnings for the whole Punk Movement and then some.Dead Cool: Johnny Thunders
February 5, 2010
You will have cut the underpinnings from beneath the American dollar.Damned If You Don't
Gordon Randall Garrett
Clank, the presses begin again, and all afternoon I iron gentlemen's underpinnings.Working With the Working Woman
Cornelia Stratton Parker
The gate of the nameless mausoleum had not been opened for many years, and the wind had heaped the dirt against the underpinnings.The Enemies of Women
Vicente Blasco Ibez
That ship you talked of is awfully plated up topside, but all her underpinnings are pretty weak.A Fleet in Being
- any supporting structure or system
- 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
Word Origin and History for underpinnings
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper