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English definition of “underpin”

underpin

verb [T]     /ˌʌn.dəˈpɪn/ US  /-dɚ-/ (-nn-) formal or specialized
to give support , strength , or a basic structure to something: He presented the figures to underpin his argument . Gradually the laws that underpinned (= formed part of the basic structure of) apartheid were abolished . When restoring the building , the first priority was to underpin the exterior walls by adding wooden supports along the foundations .Physical supports and supportingArches, columns and beamsBacking, supporting and defendingDefending and protecting underpinning     /ˈʌn.dəˌpɪn.ɪŋ/ US  /-dɚ-/ noun [C or U] After a while, we found ourselves questioning the spiritual and philosophical underpinning of the American way of life .Being based on or depending on something
(Definition of underpin verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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