verb (used with object), sup·plied, sup·ply·ing.

verb (used without object), sup·plied, sup·ply·ing.

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.

Nearby words

  1. supplicate,
  2. supplication,
  3. supplicatory,
  4. supplied,
  5. supplier,
  6. supply and demand,
  7. supply chain,
  8. supply teacher,
  9. supply-side,
  10. supply-side economics

Origin of supply

1325–75; (v.) Middle English sup(p)lien < Middle French souplier, variant of soupleerLatin supplēre to fill up, equivalent to sup- sup- + plēre to fill (see full1); (noun) late Middle English: aid, succor, derivative of the v.

Related formssup·pli·er, nounun·sup·plied, adjectivewell-sup·plied, adjective




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. 2019

Examples from the Web for supply

British Dictionary definitions for supply



verb -plies, -plying or -plied

(tr often foll by with) to furnish with something that is requiredto supply the community with good government
(tr; often foll by to or for) to make available or provide (something that is desired or lacking)to supply books to the library
(tr) to provide for adequately; make good; satisfywho will supply their needs?
to serve as a substitute, usually temporary, in (another's position, etc)there are no clergymen to supply the pulpit
(tr) British to fill (a vacancy, position, etc)

noun plural -plies

  1. the act of providing or something that is provided
  2. (as modifier)a supply dump
(often plural) an amount available for use; stock
(plural) food, equipment, etc, needed for a campaign or trip
  1. willingness and ability to offer goods and services for sale
  2. the amount of a commodity that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at a specified priceCompare demand (def. 9)
  1. the management and disposal of food and equipment
  2. (as modifier)supply routes
(often plural) a grant of money voted by a legislature for government expenses, esp those not covered by other revenues
(in Parliament and similar legislatures) the money voted annually for the expenses of the civil service and armed forces
  1. a person who acts as a temporary substitute
  2. (as modifier)a supply vicar
a source of electrical energy, gas, etc
obsolete aid or assistance
Derived Formssuppliable, adjectivesupplier, noun

Word Origin for supply

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


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

Word Origin and History for supply
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture 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.

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.