underwrite

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

verb (used with object), un·der·wrote, un·der·writ·ten, un·der·writ·ing.

verb (used without object), un·der·wrote, un·der·writ·ten, un·der·writ·ing.

to underwrite something.
to carry on the business of an underwriter.

Origin of underwrite

1400–50; late Middle English, translation of Latin subscrībere to write underneath, sign, subscribe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for underwrite

Contemporary Examples of underwrite

Historical Examples of underwrite

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

    Secresy

    E. (Eliza) Fenwick

  • And the firm can underwrite the last hundred thousand, and that will clean it up.

    Tutt and Mr. Tutt

    Arthur Train

  • Is it all right for us to underwrite the stock ourselves at half price?

    Tutt and Mr. Tutt

    Arthur Train

  • The association will also underwrite the bonds and preference shares.

  • Ascher, Stutz & Co. will underwrite the new issues and take three and one-half per cent.

    Gossamer

    George A. Birmingham


British Dictionary definitions for underwrite

underwrite

verb -writes, -writing, -wrote or -written (tr)

finance to undertake to purchase at an agreed price any unsold portion of (a public issue of shares, etc)
to accept financial responsibility for (a commercial project or enterprise)
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
to write (words, a signature, etc) beneath (other written matter); subscribe
to support or concur with (a decision, statement, etc) by or as if by signature
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 underwrite
v.

early 15c., from under + write (v.). A loan-translation of Latin subscribere (see subscribe). Used literally at first; modern sense of "to accept the risk of insurance" (1620s) is from notion of signing a marine insurance policy. Meaning "to support by a guarantee of money" is recorded from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper