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  1. present participle of underpin


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underpinning ‎(plural underpinnings)

  1. A support or foundation, especially as a structure of masonry that supports a wall or a metaphorical basis for something.
    This house's underpinning is not up to standard.
    I would like to know more about the underpinning of this political theory.
  2. Legs, more generally.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ and if you don't look out there's likely to be some nice, lively dog taking an interest in your underpinning.”