Meaning of SUPPORT in English



to agree with or help somebody/something

1. to agree with an idea/person/political party

2. someone who supports a person/political party/idea

3. to give money or help to a person/group/plan

4. the money or help that you give when you support someone

5. to support someone against someone else

6. to persuade someone to support you

to stop somebody/something from falling down

7. to support something or someone so that they do not fall down

8. to use something to support yourself

9. something that is used to support something else


to support a team or player : ↑ SPORT/GAME (11)

see also




1. to agree with an idea/person/political party

▷ support /səˈpɔːʳt/ [transitive verb not in progressive]

to agree with an idea, plan, political party etc, and want it to succeed :

▪ I have always supported the Democrats.

▪ She wrote a newspaper article supporting the idea of a minimum wage for workers.

strongly support

▪ Plans for a new school were strongly supported by local residents.

support somebody in something

▪ Public opinion in America supported Gandhi in his struggle for an independent India.

support [uncountable noun]

▪ The President could not get involved in the conflict without the support of the American people.

support for

▪ There is growing support for environmental pressure groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.

▷ be in favour of British /be in favor of American /biː ɪn ˈfeɪvər ɒv/ [verb phrase]

to support a plan or suggestion because you think it is a good idea :

▪ Most UN delegates are in favour of the new peace plan.

be in favour of doing something

▪ Some teachers were in favour of retaining the existing system.

be all in favour of something

especially spoken completely agree with

▪ I’m all in favour of people having smaller cars.

▷ pro- /prəʊ/ [prefix]

pro-democracy/pro-government/pro-independence etc

supporting democracy, the government etc :

▪ The pro-independence group has been attacked and suppressed.

▪ pro-western forces

▪ The ‘pro-choice’ group believes in the right to abortion.

▷ be in sympathy with/sympathize with /biː ɪn ˈsɪmpəθi wɪð, ˈsɪmpəθaɪz wɪð/ [verb phrase]

to think that someone’s aims or ideas, especially political ideas, are right and that you should support them :

▪ Many Democrats were in sympathy with Reagan’s policies on Nicaragua.

▪ Soldiers were punished severely if they were suspected of sympathising with student agitators.

▷ endorse /ɪnˈdɔːʳs/ [transitive verb]

to show publicly that you support a plan or action, especially by voting for it :

▪ The convention endorsed the peace programme.

▪ The President’s position was endorsed by a large majority of the Senate.

fully endorse

▪ I fully endorse the measures taken to improve safety standards.

endorsement [uncountable noun]

▪ Before a bill can become law it has to have the full endorsement of both Houses of Parliament.

▷ advocate /ˈædvəkeɪt/ [transitive verb] formal

to publicly support a plan or way of doing something, especially one that you have suggested yourself :

▪ They advocated state control of all public services.

▪ Some extremists are now openly advocating violence.

▷ be with /biː ˈwɪð/ [verb phrase]

if you are with someone, you agree with what they are trying to do, and you are willing to help them :

▪ We need people now for the anti-government march. Are you with us or against us?

be with somebody all the way

support someone fully

▪ When you are fighting an election campaign, you need to feel that your party is with you all the way.

2. someone who supports a person/political party/idea

▷ supporter /səˈpɔːʳtəʳ/ [countable noun]

someone who supports a person, political party, or idea :

▪ She had always been one of the prime minister’s strongest supporters.

▪ a Labour Party supporter

supporter of

▪ Supporters of women’s rights are protesting against the court’s decision.

staunch supporter (of)

very strong supporter

▪ Mill was a strong supporter of political reform.

▷ support /səˈpɔːʳt/ [uncountable noun]

all the people who support a person, group, or plan :

▪ The party’s support has always been in the big cities.

▪ Carter had seen his support dwindling in the southern states.

▷ sympathizer also sympathiser British /ˈsɪmpəθaɪzəʳ/ [countable noun]

someone who supports the ideas of a political organization but does not belong to it, especially an organization that is illegal :

▪ His opponents accused him of being a Nazi sympathizer.

▪ Money for the group’s terrorist activities was supplied by sympathisers in the US.

▷ follower /ˈfɒləʊəʳǁˈfɑː-/ [countable noun]

someone who supports the ideas of a political or religious leader :

▪ Some of Biko’s followers resented his friendship with a white journalist.

follower of

▪ the followers of Mahatma Gandhi

▷ following /ˈfɒləʊɪŋǁˈfɑː-/ [countable noun usually singular]

all the people who support a person or organization :

▪ The civil rights movement attracted a large following in the northern cities.

▪ In both states, O'Reilly has a loyal following among hard-line conservatives.

3. to give money or help to a person/group/plan

▷ support /səˈpɔːʳt/ [transitive verb]

to give help, encouragement, money etc to someone because you want them to succeed :

▪ The rebels were supported by a number of foreign governments who provided arms and money.

▪ Employers support the training program by offering places for young people.

▷ back /bæk/ [transitive verb usually in passive]

to support a person or plan by providing money or practical help - use this especially to talk about governments or other powerful groups that support something :

▪ Several major insurance companies have agreed to back the healthcare reforms.

▪ The plans for a new shopping mall are backed by the city council.

▷ in support of /ɪn səˈpɔːʳt ɒv/ [preposition]

if you do something in support of someone or something, you do it to show that you support them :

▪ The miners came out on strike in support of the nurses.

▪ a big demonstration in support of democratic reforms

▷ be behind /biː bɪˈhaɪnd/ [verb phrase]

to support and encourage someone in what they are trying to achieve :

▪ My parents were behind me from the start, and bought me my first violin when I was just 3 years old.

▪ Maisha struggled for years trying to make it as an artist, but her husband, Rudy, was always behind her.

be behind somebody all the way

be ready to continue supporting them until they succeed

▪ Just do your best and remember that we are behind you all the way.

▷ back somebody up /ˌbæk somebody ˈʌp/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to support someone by saying that you agree with them or by giving information that shows they are right :

▪ I was relying on you to back me up, why didn’t you?

▪ Eventually, after my impassioned pleas, backed up by my mother, Dad agreed to let me go to the concert.

▷ throw your weight behind /ˌθrəʊ jɔːʳ ˈweɪt bɪˌhaɪnd/ [verb phrase]

to use all your influence and ability to make sure a person, group, or plan is successful :

▪ Faced with a crisis, the Party united and threw its full weight behind the President.

▪ Please throw your full weight behind us in our fund raising effort.

4. the money or help that you give when you support someone

▷ support /səˈpɔːʳt/ [uncountable noun]

the help and encouragement that you give to someone when you want them to succeed :

▪ I couldn’t have finished my degree without the support of my family.

financial support

money given to support something

▪ Private companies should not rely on financial support from the government.

▷ backing /ˈbækɪŋ/ [uncountable noun]

money or practical help given to support a person or plan, especially by a government or other powerful group :

▪ Does this policy have government backing?

▪ The company failed to get sufficient financial backing, and never got off the ground.

backing of

▪ Chairman Robert Eaton said he has the backing of the vast majority of the company’s major shareholders.

5. to support someone against someone else

▷ be on somebody’s side /biː ɒn somebodyˈs ˈsaɪd/ [verb phrase]

to support one person or group against another in an argument, war etc :

▪ Why did you keep agreeing with them? I thought you were on my side.

▪ With most of the newspapers on their side, they have a good chance of winning the election.

▪ Whose side are you on?

▷ side with /ˈsaɪd wɪð/ [transitive phrasal verb not in passive]

to support one person or group against another in an argument, especially in a way that seems unfair :

▪ Why do you always side with Lucy?

side with somebody against somebody

▪ You wouldn’t expect the union to side with the employers against their own members, would you?

▷ take sides /ˌteɪk ˈsaɪdz/ [verb phrase]

to support one of the two sides in an argument when it would be fairer not to support either of them :

▪ I don’t mind you two arguing, but don’t ask me to take sides.

▪ The chairwoman managed to stimulate a lively debate without taking sides herself.

6. to persuade someone to support you

▷ enlist support /ɪnˌlɪst səˈpɔːʳt/ [verb phrase not in passive] formal

to talk to people and persuade them to support you :

enlist the support of

▪ Should you attempt to take your employer to court alone, or enlist the support of your trade union?

enlist support for

▪ He spent the whole month enlisting support for his reforms.

enlist support from

▪ The Labour Party hoped to enlist support from the middle classes by promising not to raise income tax.

▷ drum up support /ˌdrʌm ʌp səˈpɔːʳt/ [verb phrase not in passive]

to try to get a lot of people to support you :

▪ Pop stars and TV personalities were brought in to publicize the campaign and drum up support.

drum up support for

▪ Drumming up support for a children’s play group proved harder than she had expected.

7. to support something or someone so that they do not fall down

▷ support /səˈpɔːʳt/ [transitive verb]

▪ Unfortunately, the branch was too weak to support his weight.

▪ The ceiling was supported by huge stone columns.

▪ Sitting at a table in the coffee shop, her chin supported by her hands, she was deep in thought.

▪ Her body was so weak that she had to be supported by two nurses.

support [uncountable noun]

▪ The bridge fell down because it didn’t have enough support.

supporting [adjective only before noun]

▪ The roof was held up by supporting beams that ran right through my attic bedroom.

▷ hold up /ˌhəʊld ˈʌp/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to support the weight of something and prevent it from falling down. Hold up is more informal than support :

hold up something

▪ We can’t knock that wall down. It’s the one that holds up the house.

▪ These poles hold up the outer part of the tent.

hold something up

▪ Why don’t we use some of these pieces of wood to hold it up?

▪ The only thing holding the wall up was a frail-looking section of scaffolding.

▷ bear /beəʳ/ [transitive verb] formal

to support all the weight of something, especially something heavy :

▪ The baby’s narrow neck looked too fragile to bear the weight of its head.

▪ The tunnel would have needed to be extremely strong to bear the full weight of the earth above.

▷ carry /ˈkæri/ [transitive verb]

if something carries a particular weight, it is able to support it, especially because it has been designed to :

▪ The bridge could only carry up to two cars at a time.

▪ The pillars have been specially strengthened in order to carry the weight of the new ceiling.

▪ Front tyres tend to go down more quickly than back ones, because they carry more weight.

▷ take somebody’s/something’s weight /ˌteɪk somebodyˈs/somethingˈs ˈweɪt/ [verb phrase]

to support the weight of someone or something - use this especially to say whether or not something is strong enough to do this :

▪ I hope the ice is strong enough to take my weight.

▪ I’m not sure if this table can take the weight of all these books.

▷ prop up /ˌprɒp ˈʌpǁˌprɑːp-/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to stop something from falling by putting something else against it or under it :

prop up something

▪ The builders have propped up the walls with steel beams.

prop something up

▪ I sat down and propped my feet up on the edge of the desk.

▷ shore up /ˌʃɔːr ˈʌp/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to support something such as a wall or a building that has been damaged or is in bad condition by putting big pieces of wood or metal against it :

shore up something

▪ The fence was shored up with sheets of old iron.

shore something up

▪ Our huts were falling down, so we used branches to shore them up.

8. to use something to support yourself

▷ lean /liːn/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to support your body or part of your body by putting it on or against a surface such as a wall or a table :

lean against

▪ Joe was leaning against the school wall, smoking a cigarette.

lean on

▪ She leaned on the railings and looked out at the sea.

lean your head/arms/elbows etc on

▪ It’s sometimes considered bad manners to lean your elbows on the table when you’re eating.

lean back on/against something

▪ I leaned back on the pillows and closed my eyes.

▷ rest /rest/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to support your body or part of your body by putting it lightly on or against something :

rest on

▪ Her head rested gently on his shoulder.

▪ John rested his head on the back of the car-seat.

rest against

▪ I rested against a wall for a minute in order to tie up my shoe laces.

▷ prop yourself up /ˌprɒp jɔːʳself ˈʌpǁˌprɑːp-/ [verb phrase]

to help yourself stand or sit straight by supporting your body against something, especially when you are ill or injured :

▪ The soldier tried to prop himself up again using his crutches.

prop yourself up against/on

▪ I propped myself up against a wall and took a deep breath.

▷ support yourself /səˈpɔːʳt jɔːʳself/ [verb phrase]

to prevent yourself from falling by using a stick or by holding onto someone or something, especially because you are injured or weak :

▪ They walked out together, the old man supporting himself with his stick.

▪ Jessica managed to support herself by putting her arm around Gary’s neck.

▷ for support /fəʳ səˈpɔːʳt/ [adverb]

if you use something such as a stick or another person for support, you use it or hold onto them in order to prevent yourself from falling :

▪ As he fell over he grabbed at the table for support.

▪ She moved towards Andrew, seeking his arm for support.

▪ He’s able to walk around on his own now, although he has to use a cane for support.

9. something that is used to support something else

▷ support /səˈpɔːʳt/ [countable noun]

an object or structure that is used to support the weight of something else :

▪ Tall plants need supports to stop them being blown down.

▪ The supports for the roof had fallen down, and the roof hung down on one side.

▷ prop /prɒpǁprɑːp/ [countable noun]

a wooden stick or other object that is placed under something to support it :

▪ The pit props were placed only a foot or two apart, to support a mile of rock above them.

▪ The clothes prop had fallen down, and the washing was trailing in the mud.

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