[ uhn-der-rahy-ter ]
/ ˈʌn dərˌraɪ tər /


a person or company that underwrites policies of insurance or carries on insurance as a business.
a person or company that underwrites shares or bonds.
a person or organization that finances something; backer: the underwriters of the ballet company.

Nearby words

  1. underwood,
  2. underwool,
  3. underwork,
  4. underworld,
  5. underwrite,
  6. underwritten,
  7. underwrote,
  8. undescended,
  9. undescended testicle,
  10. undescended testis

Origin of underwriter

First recorded in 1610–20; underwrite + -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for underwriter

British Dictionary definitions for underwriter


/ (ˈʌndəˌraɪtə) /


a person or enterprise that underwrites public issues of shares, bonds, etc
  1. a person or enterprise that underwrites insurance policies
  2. an employee or agent of an insurance company who assesses risks and determines the premiums payable
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 underwriter



1610s, "subscriber;" insurance sense from 1620s; agent noun from underwrite.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper