verb (used with object), un·der·gird·ed or un·der·girt, un·der·gird·ing.

to strengthen; secure, as by passing a rope or chain under and around: to undergird a top-heavy load.
to give fundamental support; provide with a sound or secure basis: ethics undergirded by faith.

Origin of undergird

First recorded in 1520–30; under- + gird1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for undergird

Contemporary Examples of undergird

  • To the contrary, he views them as essential to restoring the economic strength that must undergird that power.

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    Why Hagel Matters

    Peter Beinart

    January 7, 2013

British Dictionary definitions for undergird


verb -girds, -girding, -girded or -girt

(tr) to strengthen or reinforce by passing a rope, cable, or chain around the underside of (an object, load, etc)

Word Origin for undergird

C16: from under- + gird 1
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 undergird

1520s, from under + gird (v.). Related: Undergirded; undergirding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper