Definition of underpinning in US English:



  • 1A solid foundation laid below ground level to support or strengthen a building.

    • ‘Repairs include underpinning the southeast corner of the 100 year-old, heritage listed building to stabilise the foundations and ensure the building is structurally sound.’
    • ‘Because of the way the original plotland homes were built, with shallow, often uneven, foundations, the only way to save the building is through extensive underpinning.’
    • ‘The river would create a problem of slow erosion and danger to the underpinning of other buildings in the site area.’
    • ‘All this will provide a solid underpinning for housing.’
    post, rod, pillar, column, support, foundation, piling
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    1. 1.1 A set of ideas, motives, or devices that justify or form the basis for something.
      ‘the theoretical underpinning for free-market economics’
      • ‘He is concerned less with theoretical underpinnings and more with the ethics of process-based work.’
      • ‘There are no other common factual underpinnings.’
      • ‘Unfortunately for the dot-com, the basic underpinning of the idea is statistically foolish.’
      • ‘With his work on information theory and Boolean logic, he created the theoretical underpinnings of both the networks and the devices that make up the Information Age we live in today.’
      • ‘The author delves into the structural underpinnings of chronic underemployment and unemployment, and the minds of those affected.’
      • ‘The fact that it had a theoretical underpinning was true but essentially an element.’
      • ‘He emphasized that criteria for judging qualitative research should flow logically from the theoretical underpinnings and purposes of that research.’
      • ‘If he's right, the companies building the underpinnings for these services could become the tech powerhouses for years to come.’
      • ‘The key to that system working is showing that if you are flexible with your partners they will be flexible with you and it is just a basis underpinning of any partnership that it's a give and take thing.’
      • ‘The theoretical underpinnings of the study are developed first.’
      • ‘The author's easy and clear style makes the book a pleasure to read, although the desire to minimize the mathematical content means that the theoretical and dynamical underpinnings of many topics are omitted.’
      • ‘Checks and balances - the constitutional underpinning of the democratic idea that no one individual can be trusted with unlimited power - are there to keep such delusions under control.’
      • ‘And for clarity's sake, I should say that the idea has formalist underpinnings, but debating the pros and cons of this is for another time.’
      • ‘In particular bank regulators have encouraged banks to strengthen the legal underpinnings of derivatives transactions.’
      • ‘This book includes a summary of cooperative learning and describes the theoretical underpinnings of this approach.’
      • ‘The model performs well across this data set, which gives strong support for the model's central claims, its generality, and its theoretical underpinnings.’
      • ‘For the casino, the underpinning of all their games is math.’
      • ‘In general, fully automatic programming remains beyond our reach, but there is one area where the idea has solid theoretical underpinnings as well as a record of practical success: in the building of compilers.’
      • ‘Now, the theoretical underpinning for this is the rational-expectations hypothesis familiar to economics students.’
      • ‘The structural underpinnings of such skill areas as note taking, summary, and the writing-up of science experiments, are explained to the pupils and practised in authentic contexts.’
      heart, nucleus, nub, hub, kernel, marrow, meat
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