- a supporting structure or foundation, esp. one placed beneath a wall
- [often pl.] anything that serves as a support or basis: the flimsy underpinnings of their argument
- [pl.]Informal the legs
The underpinning of a house.
The definition of an underpinning is a system of support.
An example of underpinning is the foundation of a house.
- Material or masonry used to support a structure, such as a wall.
- often underpinnings A support or foundation: “It was the towns, not the cities, that provided the underpinnings for the great American experiment” ( Frank Conroy )
- underpinnings Informal The human legs.
- Present participle of underpin.
- The utopian and political underpinning of early nudism has largely disappeared.
- The cost of intra-urban railways depends not only on the type of construction, but more especially upon local conditions, such as the nature of the soil, the presence of subsurface structures, like sewers, water and gas mains, electric conduits, &c.; the necessity of permanent underpinning or temporary supporting of house foundations, the cost of acquiring land passed under or over when street lines are not followed, and, in the case of elevated railways, the cost of acquiring easements of light, air and access, which the courts have held are vested in the abutting property.