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.

Origin of underpin

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

Examples from the Web for underpinned

Contemporary Examples of underpinned

Historical Examples of underpinned

  • 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
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper