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undergird

[uhn-der-gurd]
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verb (used with object), un·der·gird·ed or un·der·girt, un·der·gird·ing.
  1. to strengthen; secure, as by passing a rope or chain under and around: to undergird a top-heavy load.
  2. to give fundamental support; provide with a sound or secure basis: ethics undergirded by faith.
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Origin of undergird

First recorded in 1520–30; under- + gird1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for undergirding

bolster, reinforce, hold, uphold, buttress, carry, ground, bottom, prop, cradle, sustain, brace, mainstay, poise, bear, strut, base, stay, shoulder, bed

Examples from the Web for undergirding

Historical Examples of undergirding

  • They may have been planned, suggests Prof. Baldwin Brown, to carry an undergirding arch such as occurs beneath some wooden roofs.

    How France Built Her Cathedrals

    Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly


British Dictionary definitions for undergirding

undergird

verb -girds, -girding, -girded or -girt
  1. (tr) to strengthen or reinforce by passing a rope, cable, or chain around the underside of (an object, load, etc)
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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 undergirding

undergird

v.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper