Meaning of SUPPLY in English


I. səˈplī verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

Etymology: Middle English suppleen, supplien, from Middle French souplier, soupleier, from Latin supplēre to fill up, supplement, supply, from sub- up + plēre to fill — more at sub- , full

transitive verb


a. obsolete : to make additions to by way of supplement

b. : to add (something essential or lacking) as a supplement


a. : to provide satisfaction or compensation for (as a need or defect) : make good by providing a substitute : fill adequately

an age which supplied the lack of moral habits by a system of moral attitudes and poses — T.S.Eliot

the laws by which the material wants of men are supplied — Bulletin of Bates College

b. : to satisfy a need or desire for : provide or furnish with : bring up or make available a quantity of : yield

had taken to poaching as a means of supplying fresh meat for the table — H.D.Quillin

the millrace built to supply power to the mission's sawmill — American Guide Series: Tennessee

the moral code of each generation … supplies a norm or standard of behavior — B.N.Cardozo

a youngster in school supplied me the answer — Bryan MacMahon


(1) : to provide that which is required or desired by : satisfy the needs or wishes of : furnish with or as if with supplies, provisions, or equipment

a contract to supply the railroad with fuel — D.L.Graham

wells were drilled to supply the town's water system — American Guide Series: Arkansas

(2) : to furnish (organs, tissues, or cells) with pathways for transmission or a vital element (as a nerve impulse) — used of nerves and blood vessels



(1) : to substitute for another in (a function)

(2) : to occupy (a position) as a substitute ; specifically : to serve as a supply in (a church or pulpit)

b. : to serve instead of : take the place of : replace

a bold peasantry … when once destroyed, can never be supplied — Oliver Goldsmith

intransitive verb

: to serve as a supply

he supplied on Sundays in church pulpits of various denominations — Virginia D. Dawson & Betty D. Wilson

Synonyms: see provide

II. noun

( -es )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English supplye, from supplien to supply

1. obsolete : assistance , succor , aid

2. : something that supplies or is supplied to a person or thing :

a. obsolete : reinforcements — often used in plural

b. : a clergyman that serves as a substitute for another or as a temporary or incompletely functioning pastor

since the church's organization, the pulpit has been filled by supplies — Presbyterian Life

c. obsolete : a supplement especially to a book

d. : the quantity or amount (as of a commodity) needed or available

the state's supply of antiquities is not alarmingly diminished — American Guide Series: Maryland

the need for a supply of symbols … to designate various things — Jack Guendling

beer was in short supply in that hot weather — Nevil Shute

e. : items or a quantity (as provisions, clothing, arms, or raw material) available for use, exploitation, or development or especially set aside to be dispensed at need : stores , store

two crocodiles looking greedily … at this supply of succulent beef — Francis Birtles

— usually used in plural

ensuring fresh supplies of managerial talent — Roy Lewis & Angus Maude

f. : an amount of money provided (as by a legislature) to meet the annual national expenditures or those not covered by other revenues — usually used in plural

the power of giving or withholding the supplies at pleasure is one of absolute supremacy — T.E.May

3. : the act, process, or an instance of filling a want or need or of providing someone or something

manufacture, acquisition, provision and supply of services and goods — Federal Guide (Australia)

the town became a base of supply for cowboys — American Guide Series: Texas

engaged in the supply of raw materials to industry


a. : the quantities of goods or services offered for sale at various prices — compare demand

b. : the desire for general purchasing power seeking its end by an offer of specific commodities or services

5. : something that contains, delivers, maintains, or regulates a supply

supply line

supply depot

the traces that supply one leaf constitute the leaf supply — A.J.Eames & L.H.MacDaniels


variant of supplely

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.