- Archaic to write under something, esp. under something written; subscribe
- to agree to buy (an issue of stocks, bonds, etc.) on a given date and at a fixed price, or to guarantee the purchase of (stocks or bonds to be made available to the public for subscription)
- to subscribe or agree to, as by signature
- to agree to pay for the cost of or pledge to cover the financial losses of (an undertaking, etc.)
- to write one's signature at the end of (an insurance policy), thus assuming liability in the event of specified loss or damage
- to insure
- to assume liability to the amount of (a specified sum)
Origin of underwriteMiddle English underwriten, origin, originally used as translated, translation of Classical Latin subscribere: see subscribe
- to underwrite something
- to be in business as an underwriter
verbun·der·wrote , un·der·writ·ten , un·der·writ·ing, un·der·writes
- a. To assume financial responsibility for; agree to pay the costs of: underwrite a theatrical production.b. To supply with funding, especially as a sponsor: underwrite a public television show.
- a. To sign (an insurance policy) so as to assume liability in case of specified losses.b. To insure.c. To insure against losses totaling (a given amount).
- a. To guarantee the purchase of (a full issue of stocks or bonds).b. To agree to buy the unsold part of (stock not yet sold publicly) at a fixed time and price.
- a. To write under or at the end of something.b. To subscribe to, especially to sign or endorse (a document).
- To support or agree to (a decision, for example).
(third-person singular simple present underwrites, present participle underwriting, simple past underwrote, past participle underwritten)
- To write below or under; subscribe.
- To sign; to put one's name to.
- To agree to pay by signing one's name; subscribe.
- Specifically, to assume financial responsibility for something, and guarantee it against failure.
- (intransitive) To act as an underwriter.
- To support, lend support to, guarantee the basis of.
- To submit to; put up with.
From Middle English underwriten, from Old English underwrÄ«tan (“to write at the foot of, write under, subscribe"), equivalent to under- +"Ž write.