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supply definition

Overview

This page has 13 definitions of supply in English. Supply is a verb, noun and adverb. Examples of how to use supply in a sentence are shown. Also define these 15 related words and terms: provide, available, use, furnish, equip, fill, compensate, deficiency, substitute, provision, teacher, clergyman, supplely, supple, and suppleness.

English

Etymology 1

From Middle English supplien, borrowed from Old French soupleer, souploier, from Latin supplere (to fill up, make full, complete, supply). The Middle English spelling was modified to conform to Latin etymology.

Pronunciation

Verb

supply (third-person singular simple present supplies, present participle supplying, simple past and past participle supplied)

  1. (transitive) To provide (something), to make (something) available for use.
    to supply money for the war
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Prior to this entry?)
  2. (transitive) To furnish or equip with.
    to supply a furnace with fuel; to supply soldiers with ammunition
    • Equip definition
      To supply with something necessary in order to carry out a specific action or task; to provide with (e.g. weapons, provisions, munitions, rigging) (1 of 4 equip definitions)
  3. (transitive) To fill up, or keep full.
    Rivers are supplied by smaller streams.
  4. (transitive) To compensate for, or make up a deficiency of.
    • 1881, Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque:
      It was objected against him that he had never experienced love. Whereupon he arose, left the society, and made it a point not to return to it until he considered that he had supplied the defect.
  5. (transitive) To serve instead of; to take the place of.
  6. (intransitive) To act as a substitute.
  7. (transitive) To fill temporarily; to serve as substitute for another in, as a vacant place or office; to occupy; to have possession of.
    to supply a pulpit
Derived terms
Related terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun

supply (countable and uncountable, plural supplies)

  1. (uncountable) The act of supplying.
    supply and demand
  2. (countable) An amount of something supplied.
    A supply of good drinking water is essential.
    She said, “China has always had a freshwater supply problem with 20 percent of the world’s population but only 7 percent of its freshwater.
  3. (in the plural) provisions.
  4. (chiefly in the plural) An amount of money provided, as by Parliament or Congress, to meet the annual national expenditures.
    to vote supplies
  5. Somebody, such as a teacher or clergyman, who temporarily fills the place of another; a substitute.
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2

supple +‎ -ly

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

Adverb

supply (comparative more supply, superlative most supply)

  1. Supplely: in a supple manner, with suppleness.
    • 1906, Ford Madox Ford, The fifth queen: and how she came to court, page 68:
      His voice was playful and full; his back was bent supply.
    • 1938, David Leslie Murray, Commander of the mists:
      [] the rain struck on her head as she bent supply to the movements of the pony, while it scrambled up the bank to the sheltering trees. For a couple of miles the path ran through woods alive with the varied voices of the rain, []
    • 1963, Johanna Moosdorf, Next door:
      She swayed slightly in the gusts, bent supply to them and seemed at one with the force which Straup found so hostile.
    • 1988, Михаи́л Алекса́ндрович Шо́лохов (Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov), Quiet flows the Don (translated), volume 1, page 96:
      Grigory hesitantly took her in his arms to kiss her, but she held him off, bent supply backwards and shot a frightened glance at the windows.
      'They'll see!'
      'Let them!'
      'I'd be ashamed—'

Further reading