Meaning of SUPPORT in English


I. səˈpō(ə)r]t, -pȯ(ə)r], -pōə], -pȯ(ə)], usu ]d.+V\ transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English supporten, from Middle French supporter, from Late Latin supportare to bear, endure, from Latin, to carry, convey, from sub- + portare to carry — more at fare

1. : to endure especially in silence or with courage : bear , suffer , tolerate

wondered how he could support the sun, even with his helmet — Paul Bowles



(1) : to uphold by aid, countenance, or adherence : actively promote the interests or cause of

the art work of the federal agencies has been supported enthusiastically — American Guide Series: Minnesota

an established judicial system supported by the executive power of the state — John MacNeill

(2) : to uphold or defend as valid, right, just, or authoritative : advocate

would support the principle of arbitration — C.L.Jones

the treaties … represent public opinion … and will be supported by the people — Vera M. Dean

(3) : to argue in favor of : vote for

he refused to support the … party's choice — Gay Talese

supported increasing the base pay of servicemen — Current Biography

also : to advocate, endorse, vote for, or implement the policies, principles, or candidacy of

he supported the administration … in practically all its major measures — T.P.Abernethy

the state delegation … supported him on the first ballot — G.S.Dumke


(1) : to provide means, force, or strength that is secondary to : back up

scattered eight hits, walked three and fanned two as his mates supported him brilliantly in the field — Deane McGowen

body of … missionaries and businessmen, supported rather than led by a handful of politicians — D.W.Brogan

(2) : to give assistance to (a primary battle force) by providing supplies, serving as a reserve, or furnishing additional or covering combat strength

a base-building and base-stocking operation to support the great air and cross-channel attacks — G.A.Lincoln

ahead of his main line, where they could not be supported by the rest of the troops — Tom Wintringham

mortars and machine guns supported the attack

(3) : to attend upon (a person) especially as an assistant on a ceremonious occasion

the mayor … will attend the old Parish Church, supported by the Council and civic bodies, in state — Austin Edwards

(4) : to act with (a star actor)

(5) : to provide a musical background for : accompany

the orchestral sound was always strong enough to support the voices — Irving Kolodin

(6) : to bid in bridge so as to show support for (one's partner or his suit)


(1) : to serve as verification, corroboration, or substantiation of

historic evidence supports such guesses — Brewton Berry

also : to provide with verification, corroboration, or substantiation

his alibi that he had been home all afternoon … was supported by neighbors — Woody Klein

(2) : to provide amplification or clarification of

tests, keys, teachers' manuals, and the like, to support and supplement their textbooks — Textbooks in Education


a. : to pay the costs of : maintain

the association is supported financially by membership dues — Helen T. Geer

few graduate students support their studies from personal funds — M.H.Trytten

also : to supply with the means of maintenance (as lodging, food or clothing) or to earn or furnish funds for maintaining

supports his own and his brother's family

b. : to provide a basis for the existence or subsistence of : serve as the source of material or immaterial supply, nourishment, provender, fuel, raw material, or sustenance of

the island could probably support three, though no more — A.B.C.Whipple

the flax crop supports an important linen industry — Samuel Van Valkenburg & Ellsworth Huntington

to support study and research … these are … the outstanding collection of microfilm reproductions — University of Michigan Bulletin

c. : to have or put into circulation enough money (as from trade, wages, manufacture, or taxes) to maintain

the town supports a grammar school, a large high school, a movie, and two hotels — American Guide Series: Nevada

one of the large machine shops … that support the town industrially — American Guide Series: Vermont


a. : to hold up or in position : serve as a foundation or prop for : bear the weight or stress of : keep from sinking or falling

octagonal piers support Gothic arches along the nave — American Guide Series: Minnesota

b. : to serve as a heraldic supporter of

the shield of this monarch is supported on each side by an angel habited — F.J.Grant

c. : to give one's arm to

d. obsolete : to be the subject or ground of (an attribute)

e. : to assume and give the appearance of having (as a character)

supported a general behavior in the world which could not hurt their credit or their purse — Richard Steele

f. : to maintain (a price) at a high level by purchases or loans

a wool bill supporting the domestic price for wool at 42 cents — F.A.Barrett

also : to maintain the price of (as an agricultural commodity) by purchases or loans

mandatory for the secretary to support six basic crops — cotton, corn, rice, peanuts, wheat and tobacco — at 90 percent of parity — Jean Begeman

5. : to keep from fainting, sinking, yielding, or losing courage : comfort , strengthen

beneath the sadness her indomitable pride supported her — Ellen Glasgow

6. : to maintain in condition, action, or existence

the fuel had not been of that substantial sort which can support a blaze long — Thomas Hardy

support respiration

support the fiction that the man had left in the night — American Guide Series: Tennessee


sustain , prop , bolster , buttress , brace : support is applicable to a variety of uses with the general meaning or suggestion of carrying or leaning from or as if from below, of maintaining or holding up the weight or pressure of, and of forestalling sinking or falling back

beams support the roof

he supports the greater muscular tension involved with less evident fatigue — W.C.Brownell

support the Constitution

sustain may center attention on the fact of constantly holding up or of maintaining undiminished

sustain the weight of office

for nine years, Napoleon has been sustained by the people of France with a unanimity such as the United States never knew — C.B.Fairbanks

this intellectual interest is great enough to sustain the reader through the analytical labyrinths we must search together — Hunter Mead

prop may imply a weakness, a tendency to fall, sink, or recede, a need for strengthening or reinforcing on the part of the thing being treated

propping up the table with a packing case

trying to prop up the decaying structures of last-century imperialism — G.L.Kirk

the plot, a slim tale of vengeance, is psychologically shallow and propped up by unpardonable coincidences — Anthony Boucher

bolster blends the suggestions of sustain and prop ; it may suggest a supporting comparable to that afforded an invalid by pillows

bolster up the falling fortunes of the East India Company — V.L.Parrington

bolster the diminishing lumber trade within the next 75 years — American Guide Series: New Jersey

assign some extra instruments to bolster the choir's volume of sound — P.H.Lang

buttress may suggest strengthening, reinforcing, or stabilizing, sometimes massive, at a stress point, in the manner of an architectural buttress

combat business slumps and to buttress the economy so that danger of another depression will be reduced to a minimum — Newsweek

a code of laws buttressed by divine sanctions which should be unshakable — Benjamin Farrington

the popular success formula is buttressed by evidence from the careers of an impressive minority — R.B.Morris

brace may suggest supporting or strengthening so that the thing treated is made firm, unyielding, or rigid against pressure

brace the shelf with an angle iron

then he braced himself against a giant oak on his front lawn and experienced a savage kind of exaltation as the elements raged around him — Bennett Cerf

the shoring up of a tottering political system, which is precisely the problem that we face in trying to brace the western democracies — G.W.Johnson

II. noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English, from supporten to support

1. : the act, process, or operation of supporting or the condition of being supported

the support by society of increasingly skilled specialists — Jacquetta & Christopher Hawkes

carried a large club, partly for the support of his weak legs — Sherwood Anderson

appeared … to testify in support of universal military training — Current Biography


a. : the assistance given one military unit by another

methods of support by machine-gun fire — Combat Forces Journal

the transfer of battalions between regiments … is done as seldom as possible in order to avoid complicating administrative support — M.L.Powell

— see close support

b. : acting by a company or actor that supports a star

2. : one that supports : a supporting means, agency, medium, proof, or reserve : prop

building a steel frame as a structural support for the fabric of stone or brick — American Guide Series: Minnesota

the first to use canvas as a support for painting in oil — C.W.H.Johnson

one under our special supervision and the other with our cordial support — W.F.Brown b.1903


a. : a means of livelihood, sustenance, or existence

each son was expected to contribute to his own support — Carol L. Thompson

the only financial support which a magazine could expect was from its readers — D.M.Potter

also : a person or agency that furnishes support

he is his family's sole support

— compare price support


(1) : one of the two primary subdivisions of an advance or rear guard:

(2) : a military element in an outpost

(3) : a body of troops designated to support or reinforce a unit in action

(4) : a part of a unit held in reserve

c. : a company, actor, or actress playing with a star

d. : a supporting layer of cellulosic material, glass, or plastic on which a photographic light-sensitive layer is coated

e. : sufficient strength (as four cards of the suit or three cards including the queen or jack-ten) in a bridge suit bid by one's partner to justify raising it


(1) : supporter d

(2) : suspensory

g. : a musical accompaniment or background

h. : corroborating or substantiating evidence, testimony, or documents

the suggested hypothesis led necessarily to searching for support in the psychological sciences — S.J.Beck

3. : rest 2a(3)

Synonyms: see living

III. transitive verb

: to allow the use of by design

a word processor that supports a variety of printers

IV. noun

: support level herein

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