verb (used with object), un·der·wrote, un·der·writ·ten, un·der·writ·ing.
- to write one's name at the end of (a policy), thereby becoming liable in case of certain losses specified in the policy.
- to insure.
- to assume liability to the extent of (a specified sum) by way of insurance.
- to select or rate (risks) for insurance.
verb (used without object), un·der·wrote, un·der·writ·ten, un·der·writ·ing.
- undescended testicle
Origin of underwrite
Examples from the Web for underwrite
The Rockefellers were not going to underwrite a museum that promoted communism.
Of course, plenty of countries are willing to underwrite that expense.Will Saudi Arabia Execute Guest Workers for 'Witchcraft'?|Michael Schulson|March 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
As heroes, those who serve and sacrifice embody the virtues that underwrite American greatness.
The English issuing house sends round a stockbroker to underwrite the loan.International Finance|Hartley Withers
(Mr. Grierson's eye fell on me), "and sell it out to the public, if you underwrite it, for two million or so."A Far Country, Complete|Winston Churchill
Ascher, Stutz & Co. will underwrite the new issues and take three and one-half per cent.Gossamer|George A. Birmingham
On learning that we were intending to enter Hudson Straits, the agent refused to underwrite us: it was too ugly a risk.Left on Labrador|Charles Asbury Stephens
Is it all right for us to underwrite the stock ourselves at half price?Tutt and Mr. Tutt|Arthur Train
verb -writes, -writing, -wrote or -written (tr)
- to sign and issue (an insurance policy) thus accepting liability if specified losses occur
- to insure (a property or risk)
- to accept liability up to (a specified amount) in an insurance policy
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.