- a system of supports beneath a wall or the like.
- Often underpinnings. a foundation or basis: to uncover the emotional underpinnings of an illness.
- underpinnings, Informal.
- underwear, especially women's underwear.
- the legs.
Origin of underpinning
- to prop up or support from below; strengthen, as by reinforcing a foundation.
- to replace or strengthen the foundation of (a building or the like).
- to furnish a foundation for; corroborate: The author's conclusions are underpinned by references to experimental findings.
Origin of underpin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for underpinning
Diversity of thought, religion, ideology and freedom of expression is the underpinning of our democracy.Does ‘Ebony’ Magazine Condone Bigotry?
March 28, 2014
There has been a substantial loss of oil revenues, the underpinning of their economy.Iran, Try Peace or Get War
Leslie H. Gelb
September 24, 2013
Underpinning every page is a sense of the historian ruefully shaking his head over the power of memory.How Do You Write About the Holocaust?
May 5, 2013
Of all the generation of rogues, he was least fitted to barter away his underpinning.Dwellers in the Hills
Melville Davisson Post
If your underpinning is all right it is not difficult to be straight above.
After its underpinning in 1888 a thorough repair of it was undertaken.
For the moment he fancied that he would jerk bodily from off his underpinning.The Day's Work, Volume 1
The Cat, or Sow, was in constant use for mining and underpinning walls.British Castles
Charles H. Ashdown
- a structure of masonry, concrete, etc, placed beneath a wall to provide support
- to support from beneath, esp by a prop, while avoiding damaging or weakening the superstructureto underpin a wall
- to give corroboration, strength, or support to
Word Origin and History for underpinning
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper