View synonyms for underwrite


[ uhn-der-rahyt, uhn-der-rahyt ]

verb (used with object)

, un·der·wrote [uhn-der-, roht, uhn, -der-roht], un·der·writ·ten [uhn-der-, rit, -n, uhn, -der-rit-], un·der·writ·ing.
  1. to write under or at the foot of, especially under other written matter.
  2. to sign one's name, as to a document.
  3. to show agreement with or to support by or as if by signing one's name to, as a statement or decision.
  4. to bind oneself to contribute a sum of money to (an undertaking):

    Wealthy music lovers underwrote the experimental concerts.

  5. to guarantee the sale of (a security issue to be offered to the public for subscription).
  6. Insurance.
    1. to write one's name at the end of (a policy), thereby becoming liable in case of certain losses specified in the policy.
    2. to insure.
    3. to assume liability to the extent of (a specified sum) by way of insurance.
    4. to select or rate (risks) for insurance.

verb (used without object)

, un·der·wrote [uhn-der-, roht, uhn, -der-roht], un·der·writ·ten [uhn-der-, rit, -n, uhn, -der-rit-], un·der·writ·ing.
  1. to underwrite something.
  2. to carry on the business of an underwriter.


/ ˌʌndəˈraɪt; ˈʊndəˌraɪt /


  1. finance to undertake to purchase at an agreed price any unsold portion of (a public issue of shares, etc)
  2. to accept financial responsibility for (a commercial project or enterprise)
  3. insurance
    1. to sign and issue (an insurance policy) thus accepting liability if specified losses occur
    2. to insure (a property or risk)
    3. to accept liability up to (a specified amount) in an insurance policy
  4. to write (words, a signature, etc) beneath (other written matter); subscribe
  5. to support or concur with (a decision, statement, etc) by or as if by signature

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Word History and Origins

Origin of underwrite1

First recorded before 1400–50; late Middle English, translation of Latin subscrībere “to write underneath, sign, subscribe”; subscribe

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Example Sentences

Once “The Hustler” was optioned by Hollywood, though, he used the cash to underwrite an MA in creative writing from the University of Iowa.

It can underwrite the cost of meals for students and help pay for nurses in every school.

Nor did state legislatures step up to the plate and generously underwrite higher education to meet this increasing demand, so colleges and universities raised fees to cover expenses.

With home sales at a peak, underwriting growing rapidly, and a fleshed-out management team, Better hopes its turn to shine in the public markets has finally arrived.

For the next 20 years, DHHL received $30 million annually, helping underwrite the development of more homesteads.

The Rockefellers were not going to underwrite a museum that promoted communism.

Of course, plenty of countries are willing to underwrite that expense.

Or the Social and National Security tax, because it would underwrite both kinds.

As heroes, those who serve and sacrifice embody the virtues that underwrite American greatness.

I'd undertake to underwrite the whole English-speaking world to keep peace, under our leadership.

On learning that we were intending to enter Hudson Straits, the agent refused to underwrite us: it was too ugly a risk.

The parents had agreed to underwrite lunches at the barn and Betty Miller philosophically assumed the role of commissary officer.

The English issuing house sends round a stockbroker to underwrite the loan.

I shall not underwrite the name till you have judged of my painting.





under wrapsunderwriter