WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
un•der•write /ˌʌndɚˈraɪt, ˈʌndɚˌraɪt/USA pronunciation   v. [+ object], -wrote, -writ•ten, -writ•ing. 
  1. to give or contribute a sum of money to guarantee the success of (an undertaking):to underwrite the building of a new library.
  2. [Insurance.]
    • Businessto write one's name at the end of (a policy), thereby becoming responsible in case of certain losses.
    • Businessto insure, as for a certain sum.
un•der•writ•er, n. [countable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
un•der•write  (un′dər rīt, undər rīt′),USA pronunciation v.,  -wrote, -writ•ten, -writ•ing. 
  1. to write under or at the foot of, esp. under other written matter.
  2. to sign one's name, as to a document.
  3. to show agreement with or to support by or as if by signing one's name to, as a statement or decision.
  4. to bind oneself to contribute a sum of money to (an undertaking):Wealthy music lovers underwrote the experimental concerts.
  5. Businessto guarantee the sale of (a security issue to be offered to the public for subscription).
  6. [Insurance.]
    • Businessto write one's name at the end of (a policy), thereby becoming liable in case of certain losses specified in the policy.
    • Businessto insure.
    • Businessto assume liability to the extent of (a specified sum) by way of insurance.
    • Businessto select or rate (risks) for insurance.

  1. to underwrite something.
  2. Businessto carry on the business of an underwriter.
  • late Middle English, translation of Latin subscrībere to write underneath, sign, subscribe 1400–50

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

underwrite /ˈʊndəˌraɪt; ˌʌndəˈraɪt/ vb ( -writes, -writing, -wrote, -written)(transitive)
  1. to undertake to purchase at an agreed price any unsold portion of (a public issue of shares, etc)
  2. to accept financial responsibility for (a commercial project or enterprise)
  3. to sign and issue (an insurance policy) thus accepting liability if specified losses occur
  4. to insure (a property or risk)
  5. to accept liability up to (a specified amount) in an insurance policy
  6. to write (words, a signature, etc) beneath (other written matter); subscribe

'underwrite' also found in these entries:

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