Definition of underpinning in US English:



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

    • ‘All this will provide a solid underpinning for housing.’
    • ‘The river would create a problem of slow erosion and danger to the underpinning of other buildings in the site area.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The fact that it had a theoretical underpinning was true but essentially an element.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This book includes a summary of cooperative learning and describes the theoretical underpinnings of this approach.’
      • ‘The author delves into the structural underpinnings of chronic underemployment and unemployment, and the minds of those affected.’
      • ‘In particular bank regulators have encouraged banks to strengthen the legal underpinnings of derivatives transactions.’
      • ‘If he's right, the companies building the underpinnings for these services could become the tech powerhouses for years to come.’
      • ‘For the casino, the underpinning of all their games is math.’
      • ‘The theoretical underpinnings of the study are developed first.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now, the theoretical underpinning for this is the rational-expectations hypothesis familiar to economics students.’
      • ‘There are no other common factual underpinnings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Unfortunately for the dot-com, the basic underpinning of the idea is statistically foolish.’
      • ‘He emphasized that criteria for judging qualitative research should flow logically from the theoretical underpinnings and purposes of that research.’
      • ‘The model performs well across this data set, which gives strong support for the model's central claims, its generality, and its theoretical underpinnings.’
      • ‘He is concerned less with theoretical underpinnings and more with the ethics of process-based work.’
      • ‘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.’
      heart, nucleus, nub, hub, kernel, marrow, meat
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