[ uhn-der-gurd ]
/ ˌʌn dərˈgɜrd /

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.

Nearby words

  1. underfoot,
  2. underframe,
  3. underfunded,
  4. underfur,
  5. undergarment,
  6. underglaze,
  7. undergo,
  8. undergrad,
  9. undergraduate,
  10. underground

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

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

    Why Hagel Matters|Peter Beinart|January 7, 2013|DAILY BEAST

British Dictionary definitions for undergird


/ (ˌʌndəˈɡɜːd) /

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