Meaning of SUPPLY in English

I. sup ‧ ply 1 S2 W2 /səˈplaɪ/ BrE AmE noun ( plural supplies )

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ supplier , supplies, ↑ supply ; verb : ↑ supply ]

1 . AMOUNT AVAILABLE [countable] an amount of something that is available to be used

supply of

I’ve only got a week’s supply of tablets left.

plentiful/abundant/adequate etc supply

There was a plentiful supply of cheap labour.

The nation’s fuel supplies will not last forever.

To protect the food supply, the government ordered the slaughter of affected cattle.

⇨ ↑ money supply

2 . NECESSARY THINGS supplies [plural] food, clothes, and things necessary for daily life or for a particular purpose, especially for a group of people over a period of time:

Supplies were brought in by air.

vital/essential/emergency supplies

trucks loaded with emergency supplies

medical/school/cleaning etc supplies

foreign aid used to buy medical supplies

3 . gas/electricity/water etc supply a system that is used to supply gas etc:

the public water supply

If you fail to pay your bill, you run the risk of having your electricity supply cut off (=stopped) .

4 . ACT OF SUPPLYING [uncountable] when you supply something

supply of/to

The military government is trying to stop the supply of guns to the rebels.

5 . supply ship/convoy/route etc a ship etc used for bringing or storing supplies

⇨ in short supply at ↑ short 1 (5b)

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ a good supply

In hot countries, always carry a good supply of water.

▪ a plentiful/abundant supply formal

There was a plentiful supply of books and magazines to read.

▪ an adequate supply

The larger cities usually have more modern health facilities and an adequate supply of medicines.

▪ a constant/steady/regular supply

For dairy farming, a constant supply of lush grass is essential.

▪ an endless/inexhaustible supply (=one that does not end, or seems not to end)

He has an endless supply of jokes.

▪ a ready supply (=one that is easily available)

The early settlers also found a ready supply of flints in the chalk cliffs.

▪ a small/limited supply

There is a limited supply of land for building.

▪ a dwindling supply (=one that is getting smaller)

We cannot rely on the dwindling supplies of crude oil and natural gas.

▪ a fresh supply

A fresh supply of fuel was needed.

■ verbs

▪ use up/exhaust a supply

The diver had nearly used up his supply of oxygen.

II. supply 2 S3 W2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle supplied , present participle supplying , third person singular supplies ) [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ supplier , supplies, ↑ supply ; verb : ↑ supply ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: soupleier , from Latin supplere 'to fill up, supplement, supply' , from sub- 'up' + plere 'to fill' ]

1 . to provide people with something that they need or want, especially regularly over a long period of time:

Paint for the project was supplied by the city.

supply somebody with something

An informer supplied the police with the names of those involved in the crime.

supply something to somebody

They were arrested for supplying drugs to street dealers.

2 . be well/poorly/generously supplied with something to have a lot of something, a little of something etc:

The lounge was well supplied with ashtrays.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.