• synonyms


[noun suhp-luh-muhnt; verb suhp-luh-ment]
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  1. something added to complete a thing, supply a deficiency, or reinforce or extend a whole.
  2. a part added to a book, document, etc., to supply additional or later information, correct errors, or the like.
  3. a part, usually of special character, issued as an additional feature of a newspaper or other periodical.
  4. Geometry. the quantity by which an angle or an arc falls short of 180° or a semicircle.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to complete, add to, or extend by a supplement.
  2. to form a supplement or addition to.
  3. to supply (a deficiency).
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Origin of supplement

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin supplēmentum that by which anything is made full, equivalent to sup- sup- + plē- (stem of plēre to fill; see full1) + -mentum -ment
Related formssup·ple·ment·er, nounun·sup·ple·ment·ed, adjectivewell-sup·ple·ment·ed, adjective
Can be confusedappendix index supplement (see synonym study at appendix)complement supplement (see synonym study at complement)


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for supplement

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He is able to supplement the front-sight method by the usual estimate by eye.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Teachers will supplement them or substitute others at their pleasure.

    Classic Myths

    Mary Catherine Judd

  • In fact, we shall have to supplement it, before we can go before anybody with it.

  • His last touch was to supplement the decanter of sherry with a bottle of vodka.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Miss Warren would have been at least surprised to see it in our supplement.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for supplement


noun (ˈsʌplɪmənt)
  1. an addition designed to complete, make up for a deficiency, etc
  2. a section appended to a publication to supply further information, correct errors, etc
  3. a magazine or section inserted into a newspaper or periodical, such as one with colour photographs issued every week
  4. geometry
    1. either of a pair of angles whose sum is 180°
    2. an arc of a circle that when added to another arc forms a semicircleAbbreviation: sup, supp
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verb (ˈsʌplɪˌmɛnt)
  1. (tr) to provide a supplement to, esp in order to remedy a deficiency
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Derived Formssupplementation, nounsupplementer, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin supplēmentum, from supplēre to supply 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for supplement


late 14c., from Latin supplementum "something added to supply a deficiency," from supplere (see supply (v.)).

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1829, from supplement (n.). Related: Supplemented; supplementing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper