underpinning - definition and synonyms

noun [countable/uncountable] 

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/ˈʌndə(r)ˌpɪnɪŋ/
singularunderpinning
pluralunderpinnings
  1. 1
    an important basic part of something that allows it to succeed or continue to exist
  2. 2
    a strong piece of metal or concrete that supports something such as a wall