v. & n.
v.tr. (-ies, -ied) 1 provide or furnish (a thing needed). 2 (often foll. by with) provide (a person etc. with a thing needed). 3 meet or make up for (a deficiency or need etc.). 4 fill (a vacancy, place, etc.) as a substitute.
n. (pl. -ies) 1 the act or an instance of providing what is needed. 2 a stock, store, amount, etc., of something provided or obtainable (a large supply of water; the gas-supply). 3 (in pl.) a the collected provisions and equipment for an army, expedition, etc. b a grant of money by Parliament for the costs of government. c a money allowance to a person. 4 (often attrib.) a person, esp. a schoolteacher or clergyman, acting as a temporary substitute for another. 5 (attrib.) providing supplies or a supply (supply officer). in short supply available in limited quantity. on supply (of a schoolteacher etc.) acting as a supply. supply and demand Econ. quantities available and required as factors regulating the price of commodities. supply-side Econ. denoting a policy of low taxation and other incentives to produce goods and invest. supplier n.
[ ME f. OF so(u)pleer etc. f. L supplere (as SUB-, plere fill) ]