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See more synonyms for underpin on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), un·der·pinned, un·der·pin·ning.
  1. to prop up or support from below; strengthen, as by reinforcing a foundation.
  2. to replace or strengthen the foundation of (a building or the like).
  3. to furnish a foundation for; corroborate: The author's conclusions are underpinned by references to experimental findings.
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Origin of underpin

First recorded in 1515–25; under- + pin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

locate, plant, derive, depend, root, predicate, rest, stay, hinge, build, station, construct, found, prop, establish, ground

Examples from the Web for underpinned

Contemporary Examples

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


British Dictionary definitions for underpinned


verb -pins, -pinning or -pinned (tr)
  1. to support from beneath, esp by a prop, while avoiding damaging or weakening the superstructureto underpin a wall
  2. to give corroboration, strength, or support to
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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 underpinned



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper