Pronunciation Verb

supply (supplies, present participle supplying; past and past participle supplied)

  1. (transitive) To provide (something), to make (something) available for use.
    to supply money for the war
  2. (transitive) To furnish or equip with.
    to supply a furnace with fuel; to supply soldiers with ammunition
  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.
    • Burning ships the banished sun supply.
    • The sun was set, and Vesper, to supply / His absent beams, had lighted up the sky.
  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
Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun


  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. (mostly, 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.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Pronunciation Adverb


  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—'

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