I wonder whether the use of the word "underpinned" is correct in the following sentence and if there is a synonym for this word that fits in the sentence (when I try to look for synonyms on thesaurus I do not find a right synonym):

Since some [people] have underpinned demand for these [items], the price of these [items] has to [decline/increase] to restore equilibrium in the [some] market.

Another example, taken from an academic paper, is the following:

If there are preferred habitats then the demand for these preferred securities is underpinned, giving scope for quantities to matter in their price determination.

To be clear, I talk about people (investors) who have a preference for a particular security. In this way, their demand is "underpinned". However, my supervisor found this word a bit odd. A synonym or rewriting the sentence could therefore also be an option.

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    I believe the 2nd example is correct because the preferred securities are underpinned by the possible preferred habitats. The 1st example seems incorrect because it's not clear how the investors have underpinned the demand for the bonds. Try restructuring the sentence: The price of these bonds, which are underpinned by the demand of investors, has to decline in order to restore equilibrium in the market. I've no idea what I just said...lol
    – Joe Dark
    Jan 14, 2017 at 10:28

1 Answer 1


"Underpinned" is not a word commonly used in English, and it's most common meaning is related to supporting a structure. It also has the meanings of support, justify or form the basis for, but you might want to instead use a synonym instead of underpinned so that your meaning is clear to your readers.

Some examples:

  • Some investors have a preference for these bonds, which help support their current prices.
  • The demand for these preferred securities helps explain their currently high prices.

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