Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

underpin

verb
     
un‧der‧pin past tense and past participle underpinned, present participle underpinning [transitive]
1 to give strength or support to something and to help it succeed:
the theories that underpin his teaching method
America's wealth is underpinned by a global system which exploits the world's poor.
2 technical to put a solid piece of metal under a wall or house in order to make it stronger
underpinning noun [uncountable and countable]

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