Underwrite means to assume financial responsibility for something, usually an insurance policy or the sale of shares of stock, and to pledge to pay for any potential losses.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



insure, guarantee, sponsor, support, back, finance, fund, indemnify, secure.


disavow, repudiate, abandon, disown, renounce.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun underwriters, underwriter
Verb underwrite, underwrote, underwriting, underwritten, underwrites
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The bank agreed to underwrite the mortgage, meaning they would be responsible for paying it off if the borrower couldn’t.

  • The insurance company offered to underwrite our new business, giving us the confidence to move forward with our plans.

  • The art museum hosted a fundraiser, and many prominent donors agreed to underwrite the event, ensuring its success.

  • The investment bank agreed to underwrite the company’s initial public offering, offering expert financial advice and support throughout the process.


The verb underwrite is often used in the context of financial responsibility and support. Underwriters are individuals or organizations that financially support or guarantee a particular event or project, such as a business venture or a loan.

The word underwrite is derived from the Old English word “underwritan”, which means “to sign at the bottom”. This is because in the past, underwriters would literally write their names under a document, indicating their willingness to financially support its contents. Today, the term underwrite is used more broadly and can refer to any situation in which an individual or organization takes on financial responsibility on behalf of another party.

The term is often used in the insurance industry, where underwriters review insurance applications and determine whether to provide coverage to an individual or organization. Underwriting may involve assessing the risk associated with individuals or entities and determining the appropriate coverage and premiums.

In addition to its financial connotations, the term can also be used in a more figurative sense. For example, a company may underwrite a social event or support the arts as a way to promote its brand and enhance its reputation within the community.

Prefixes and suffixes can be added to the word to modify its meaning. For example, the prefix “re” can be added to create the word “reunderwrite”, which means to underwrite again or renew a financial agreement. Similarly, the suffix “ing” can be added to create the word “underwriting”, which refers to the process of reviewing and evaluating proposals in order to provide financial support.