[ suh-plee-shuh n ]
/ səˈpli ʃən /

noun Grammar.

the use in inflection or derivation of an allomorph that is not related in form to the primary allomorph of a morpheme, as the use of better as the comparative of good.

Nearby words

  1. supplementary,
  2. supplementary angle,
  3. supplementary angles,
  4. supplementary story,
  5. supplementation,
  6. suppletive,
  7. suppletory,
  8. supplex,
  9. suppliance,
  10. suppliancy

Origin of suppletion

1275–1325; Middle English: supplementation, supplement < Medieval Latin supplētiōn- (stem of supplētiō) a filling up, equivalent to supplēt(us), past participle of supplēre to make complete, (sup- sup- + plē-, stem of plēre to fill (see full1) + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for suppletion


/ (səˈpliːʃən) /


the use of an unrelated word to complete the otherwise defective paradigm of a given word, as for example the use of went for the past tense of go
Derived Formssuppletive, noun, adjective

Word Origin for suppletion

C14: from Medieval Latin supplētiō a completing, from Latin 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