[ suh-plahy ]
/ səˈplaɪ /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: supply / supplied / supplies / supplying on Thesaurus.com

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.



They're everywhere you turn, but can you identify the 10 types of nouns easily? This quiz will test your mettle against singular, plural, concrete, abstract, common, proper, collective, compound, countable, and uncountable nouns!
Question 1 of 7
Shoelaces, rainbow, toothpaste, and haircuts are all what type of noun?

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of supply

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


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

Definition for supply (2 of 2)

[ suhp-lee ]
/ ˈsʌp li /


in a supple manner or way; supplely.

Origin of supply

First recorded in 1525–35; supple + -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What is a basic definition of supply?

The word supply is used as a verb to mean to provide something. As a noun, supply refers to a stockpile or quantity of something. Supply has several other senses as a verb or a noun.

As a verb, supply means to give something. You might supply something in response to a request for that item, as when a clothing factory supplies a department store with new clothes in return for money. You might supply something that satisfies a need, as when plants supply us with oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Or you might supply something in order to make up for a deficiency, as when a food pantry supplies food for hungry people.

  • Real-life examples: A hydroelectric dam can supply a city with electricity. Soup kitchens supply impoverished people with food. Nature often supplies water and sunlight to plants.
  • Used in a sentence: The teacher supplied pencils and paper to the students.

As a noun, supply means an amount of something that has been stored up or stockpiled. For example, almost everyone keeps a supply of food in their house. The plural of supply is supplies and is used when more than one type of thing is being stored.

  • Real-life examples: Hospitals keep a supply of blood to use for emergencies. It is a good idea to keep an ample supply of toilet paper so you never run out. Soldiers are often given a lot of supplies to carry with them in case of problems.
  • Used in a sentence: The grocery story was running low on its supply of milk.

Where does supply come from?

The first records of the verb supply come from around 1325. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb supplēre, which means “to fill up.” The first records of the noun come from around 1420. It comes from the verb.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to supply?

  • supplier (noun)
  • unsupplied (adjective)
  • well-supplied (adjective)

What are some synonyms for supply?

What are some words that share a root or word element with supply

What are some words that often get used in discussing supply?

How is supply used in real life?

Supply is a common word that means to give something or means a stored quantity of something.

Try using supply!

True or False?

If a bakery has a supply of milk, it means it doesn’t have any milk left.

Example sentences from the Web for supply

British Dictionary definitions for supply (1 of 2)

/ (səˈplaɪ) /

verb -plies, -plying or -plied

noun plural -plies

Derived forms of supply

suppliable, adjectivesupplier, noun

Word Origin for supply

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

British Dictionary definitions for supply (2 of 2)


supplely (ˈsʌpə)

/ (ˈsʌplɪ) /


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.

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.