underpinverb [ T ]uk /ˌʌn.dəˈpɪn/ us /ˌʌn.dɚˈpɪn/ -nn-
Gradually the laws that underpinned (= formed part of the basic structure of) apartheid were abolished.
(Definition of “underpin” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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