[ suh-plahy ]
See synonyms for: supplysuppliedsuppliessupplying on

verb (used with object),sup·plied, sup·ply·ing.
  1. to furnish or provide (a person, establishment, place, etc.) with what is lacking or requisite: to supply someone clothing;to supply a community with electricity.

  2. to furnish or provide (something wanting or requisite): to supply electricity to a community.

  1. to make up, compensate for, or satisfy (a deficiency, loss, need, etc.): The TVA supplied the need for cheap electricity.

  2. to fill or occupy as a substitute, as a vacancy, a pulpit, etc.: During the summer local clergymen will supply the pulpit.

verb (used without object),sup·plied, sup·ply·ing.
  1. to fill the place of another, especially the pulpit of a church, temporarily or as a substitute: Who will supply until the new minister arrives?

noun,plural sup·plies.
  1. the act of supplying, furnishing, providing, satisfying, etc.: to begin the supply of household help.

  2. something that is supplied: The storm cut off our water supply.

  1. a quantity of something on hand or available, as for use; a stock or store: Did you see our new supply of shirts?

  2. Usually supplies . a provision, stock, or store of food or other things necessary for maintenance: to lay in supplies for the winter.

  3. Economics. the quantity of a commodity that is in the market and available for purchase or that is available for purchase at a particular price.

  4. supplies, Military.

    • all items necessary for the equipment, maintenance, and operation of a military command, including food, clothing, arms, ammunition, fuel, materials, and machinery.

    • procurement, distribution, maintenance, and salvage of supplies.

  5. a person who fills a vacancy or takes the place of another, especially temporarily.

  6. supplies. Obsolete. reinforcement (def. 4).

  7. Obsolete. aid.

Origin of supply

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English verb sup(p)lien “to fill up, complete,” from Middle French souplier, soupleer, ultimately from Latin supplēre “to fill up” (equivalent to sup- prefix + plēre “to fill”); noun derivative of the verb; see sup- full1

Other words from supply

  • sup·pli·er, noun
  • un·sup·plied, adjective
  • well-sup·plied, adjective

Other definitions for supply (2 of 2)

[ suhp-lee ]

  1. in a supple manner or way; supplely.

Origin of supply

First recorded in 1525–35; supple + -ly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use supply in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for supply (1 of 2)


/ (səˈplaɪ) /

verb-plies, -plying or -plied
  1. (tr often foll by with) to furnish with something that is required: to supply the community with good government

  2. (tr; often foll by to or for) to make available or provide (something that is desired or lacking): to supply books to the library

  1. (tr) to provide for adequately; make good; satisfy: who will supply their needs?

  2. to serve as a substitute, usually temporary, in (another's position, etc): there are no clergymen to supply the pulpit

  3. (tr) British to fill (a vacancy, position, etc)

nounplural -plies
    • the act of providing or something that is provided

    • (as modifier): a supply dump

  1. (often plural) an amount available for use; stock

  1. (plural) food, equipment, etc, needed for a campaign or trip

  2. economics

    • willingness and ability to offer goods and services for sale

    • the amount of a commodity that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at a specified price: Compare demand (def. 9)

  3. military

    • the management and disposal of food and equipment

    • (as modifier): supply routes

  4. (often plural) a grant of money voted by a legislature for government expenses, esp those not covered by other revenues

  5. (in Parliament and similar legislatures) the money voted annually for the expenses of the civil service and armed forces

    • a person who acts as a temporary substitute

    • (as modifier): a supply vicar

  6. a source of electrical energy, gas, etc

  7. obsolete aid or assistance

Origin of supply

C14: from Old French souppleier, from Latin supplēre to complete, from sub- up + plēre to fill

Derived forms of supply

  • suppliable, adjective
  • supplier, noun

British Dictionary definitions for supply (2 of 2)


supplely (ˈsʌpə)

/ (ˈsʌplɪ) /

  1. in a supple manner

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

Cultural definitions for supply


The amount of any given commodity available for sale at a given time.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with supply


see in short supply.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.