Meaning of SUPPORT in English


I. sup ‧ port 1 S1 W2 /səˈpɔːt $ -ɔːrt/ BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ support , ↑ supporter ; adjective : ↑ supportive , ↑ supporting ; verb : ↑ support ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: supporter , from Latin supportare 'to carry' , from sub- ( ⇨ ↑ sub- ) + portare 'to carry' ]

1 . AGREE AND HELP to say that you agree with an idea, group, or person, and usually to help them because you want them to succeed:

The bill was supported by a large majority in the Senate.

support somebody in (doing) something

We need to support our teachers in their efforts to raise standards.

We strongly support the peace process.

2 . BE KIND TO SOMEBODY to help someone by being sympathetic and kind to them during a difficult time in their life:

My wife supported me enormously.

3 . PROVIDE MONEY TO LIVE to provide enough money for someone to pay for all the things they need:

I have a wife and two children to support.

support somebody by (doing) something

She supports her family by teaching evening classes.

support yourself

I have no idea how I am going to support myself.

4 . GIVE MONEY TO SOMETHING to give money to a group, organization, or event etc to encourage it or pay for its costs:

There are a handful of charities which I support regularly.

5 . HOLD SOMETHING UP to hold the weight of something, keep it in place, or prevent it from falling:

The middle part of the bridge is supported by two huge towers.

During sleep, our spine no longer needs to support the weight of our body.

support yourself (on something)

I got to my feet, supporting myself on the side of the table.

6 . PROVE SOMETHING if results, facts, studies etc support an idea or statement, they show or prove that it is correct:

The results support our original theory.

There is little evidence to support such explanations.

7 . SPORTS TEAM British English to like a particular sports team and go to watch the games they play:

Which team do you support?

I’ve supported Liverpool all my life.

8 . COMPUTERS to provide information and material to improve a computer program or system, or to make it keep working:

I don’t think they support that version of the program anymore.

9 . LAND if land can support people or animals, it is of good enough quality to grow enough food for them to live:

This land can’t support many cattle.

10 . WATER/AIR/EARTH if water, air, or earth can support life, it is clean enough, has enough oxygen etc to keep animals or plants alive:

Because of pollution, this lake is now too acid to support fish.

healthy soil that can support plant life

11 . support a habit to get money in order to pay for a bad habit, especially taking drugs:

He turned to crime to support his habit.

• • •


■ to agree with and help somebody/something

▪ support to say that you agree with a person or idea, and usually help them because you want them to succeed:

We will support your decision.


Thanks to everyone who supported us throughout the trial.


The tsunami appeal was supported by thousands of people.

▪ back to support a person or plan by providing money or practical help – used about governments or other powerful groups:

The £100 million scheme is backed by the British government.


The people backing him do not have the interests of the club at heart.

▪ endorse to formally and officially say that you support a person, plan, or idea:

Agriculture ministers refused to endorse the Commission's proposals.

▪ get behind somebody/something to support a person or plan and help them be successful - used especially about a group of people:

The England fans really got behind the team.


I really believe in this initiative, but it was hard to find business people who were willing to get behind it.


The police can't do anything unless the public gets behind them.

▪ stand up for somebody/something to say that you support someone or something when they are being attacked:

You were the only person who stood up for me at the meeting.


He stood up for what he believed in.

▪ side with somebody to support one of the people or groups involved in an argument - used especially when you disapprove of this or think it is unfair:

I felt she was siding with her mother rather than standing up for me.


The jury often side with the defendant in these situations.

■ to stop something from falling

▪ support to hold the weight of something and stop it from falling:

The branch was too weak to support his weight.


The ceiling was supported by huge stone columns.


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

▪ hold up to stop something from falling:

These poles hold up the outer part of the tent.


His trousers were held up by an old piece of string.

▪ prop up to stop something from falling by putting something against it or under it:

The builders have propped up the walls with steel beams.

▪ carry to support the weight of someone or something – used about something supporting several people, vehicles etc:

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


The lift can carry up to 12 people.

▪ hold to be strong enough to support the weight of someone or something:

Are you sure the branch will hold both of us?


She prayed that the roof would hold her weight as she crawled along it.

▪ bear literary or technical to hold the weight of something:

The truck did not look strong enough to bear the weight of all those people.


a load-bearing wall

▪ take somebody's/something's weight to be strong enough to support the weight of someone or something:

His damaged leg would not take his weight.


Any large mirrors should have additional support to take their weight.


Make sure you choose a pole that will take the weight of your curtains.

II. support 2 S1 W1 BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ support , ↑ supporter ; adjective : ↑ supportive , ↑ supporting ; verb : ↑ support ]

1 . APPROVAL [uncountable] approval, encouragement, and perhaps help for a person, idea, plan etc:

Local people have given us a lot of support in our campaign.

support for

There was widespread support for the war.

in support

They signed a petition in support of the pay claim.

support of

He had the full support of the general committee.

2 . SYMPATHY/HELP [uncountable] sympathy and help that you give to someone who is in a difficult situation or who is very unhappy:

I couldn’t have made it through those times without the support of my boyfriend Rob.

3 . MONEY [uncountable] money that you give a person, group, organization etc to help pay for their costs:

The European Union is considering whether to provide financial support for the expedition.

with sb’s support

With your support, we can help these youngsters.

4 .

HOLDING SOMETHING UP [uncountable and countable] something that presses on something else to hold it up or in position:

The roof may need extra support.

the wooden supports of the bridge

for support

She grabbed at his shoulders for support.

5 . PROOF [uncountable] facts that show that an idea or statement is correct

support for

My own research provides some support for this view.

6 . COMPUTERS [uncountable] the help or information that you receive to improve a computer system, make it continue working, or use it correctly:

our technical support team

7 . CONCERT/PERFORMANCE [uncountable] a band, singer, or performer that performs for a short time at the same concert as a more famous and popular band etc:

We played support to a band called Shallow.

the support band

the support act (=the support band)

8 . SOLDIERS [uncountable] help or protection that is given by one group of soldiers to another group who are fighting in a battle:

logistical support

air/ground support (=help or protection that comes from people in aircraft or people on the ground)

9 . FOR PART OF BODY [countable] something that you wear to hold a weak or damaged part of your body in the right place

back/neck/knee etc support

⇨ ↑ child support , ↑ income support , ↑ life support system , ⇨ moral support at ↑ moral 1 (3)

• • •


■ verbs

▪ have support

The extreme right-wing parties don’t have much popular support.

▪ give (your) support ( also lend (your) support formal )

The American people gave him their enthusiastic support.


The naturalist Sir David Attenborough has lent his support to the campaign.

▪ pledge/offer (your) support (=say that you will support someone or something)

Both the opposition parties pledged full support for the new administration.

▪ get/draw support

The plan drew wide support from parents.

▪ win/gain/attract support

Try to win the support of local shopkeepers.

▪ enjoy/command support formal (=have support)

His views were too extreme to command general support.

▪ drum up/rally support (=get people’s support by making an effort)

Both sides have been drumming up support through the internet.

▪ enlist sb’s support formal (=ask for and get their support)

He wrote to the Prime Minister in an attempt to enlist his support.

▪ mobilize support (=get people to support something in an active way)

Part of their mission was to mobilize popular support for Franco.

▪ build (up) support (=increase it)

Now he needs to build his support by explaining what he believes in.

▪ withdraw support (=no longer support )

He's decided to withdraw his support for the project.

■ adjectives

▪ public/popular support

There seemed to be no popular support for war.

▪ widespread/wide/general support

There is widespread support for the Government’s proposal.

▪ strong support

A survey found strong support for the project among hospital staff.

▪ massive support

We have massive public support.

▪ sb’s full support

That view deserves the full support of all farmers.

▪ whole-hearted/enthusiastic support

I want you to know that you have my whole-hearted support.

▪ active support (=approval and help)

Les, with the active support of his wife Pam, has spent several years compiling a list of the prisoners.

▪ unanimous support (=when all members of a group support something)

There was nearly unanimous support for the proposal.

• • •


▪ help the things you do to make it easier or possible for someone to do something:

Now that I’m working, the kids need to give me more help with the housework.


The book would never have been finished without his help.

▪ assistance help. Assistance is more formal than help , and is used especially about people giving official help:

The police are asking the public for their assistance.


The project received financial assistance from the government.


Thank you very much for your assistance, sir.


He set up the business with the assistance of his two sons.

▪ aid help. Aid is more formal than help , and is used especially about money, food, medicine etc. that is given to countries or people that are in a very bad situation:

Aid is being sent to areas affected by the earthquake.


The US spends billions of dollars on aid to developing countries.


Another driver stopped and came to his aid.

▪ support help and encouragement:

Thanks to everyone who gave us their support.


We could not have won the case without your support.

▪ cooperation help – used especially when people, organizations, or countries work together to get things done, and show that they are willing to do this:

a spirit of international cooperation


The cooperation of landowners was needed for the plan to succeed.

▪ backup extra people, equipment etc that can be used in case people need help:

The officer waited for backup to arrive before making any arrests.

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