View synonyms for supply



[ suh-plahy ]

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.

  3. to make up, compensate for, or satisfy (a deficiency, loss, need, etc.):

    The TVA supplied the need for cheap electricity.

  4. 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?


, 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.

  3. a quantity of something on hand or available, as for use; a stock or store:

    Did you see our new supply of shirts?

  4. Usually supplies. a provision, stock, or store of food or other things necessary for maintenance:

    to lay in supplies for the winter.

  5. 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.
  6. supplies, Military.
    1. all items necessary for the equipment, maintenance, and operation of a military command, including food, clothing, arms, ammunition, fuel, materials, and machinery.
    2. procurement, distribution, maintenance, and salvage of supplies.
  7. a person who fills a vacancy or takes the place of another, especially temporarily.
  8. supplies. Obsolete. reinforcement ( def 4 ).
  9. Obsolete. aid.



[ suhp-lee ]


  1. in a supple manner or way; supplely.



/ səˈplaɪ /


  1. troften foll bywith 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

  3. tr to provide for adequately; make good; satisfy

    who will supply their needs?

  4. to serve as a substitute, usually temporary, in (another's position, etc)

    there are no clergymen to supply the pulpit

  5. tr to fill (a vacancy, position, etc)


    1. the act of providing or something that is provided
    2. ( as modifier )

      a supply dump

  1. often plural an amount available for use; stock
  2. plural food, equipment, etc, needed for a campaign or trip
  3. economics
    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 price Compare demand
  4. military
    1. the management and disposal of food and equipment
    2. ( as modifier )

      supply routes

  5. often plural a grant of money voted by a legislature for government expenses, esp those not covered by other revenues
  6. (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

  7. a source of electrical energy, gas, etc
  8. obsolete.
    aid or assistance



/ ˈsʌplɪ; ˈsʌpəlɪ /


  1. in a supple manner


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

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Derived Forms

  • supˈplier, noun
  • supˈpliable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • sup·plier noun
  • unsup·plied adjective
  • well-sup·plied adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of supply1

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; sup- full 1

Origin of supply2

First recorded in 1525–35; supple + -ly

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Word History and Origins

Origin of supply1

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

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Idioms and Phrases

see in short supply .

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Example Sentences

If you’re looking for a weatherproof, heavy-duty case with plenty of first aid supplies, this one’s for you.

It supplies Nreal with its Snapdragon processors, allowing the startup’s lightweight mixed reality glasses to easily plug into an Android phone.

“Despite a high self-sufficiency ratio for grains, the balance between the food demand and supply has been quite tight in recent years,” Si says.

From Ozy

While the Covid-19 outbreak has hammered the global economy and disrupted supply chains, Apple is seeing strong demand for iPhones, iPads and Mac computers from people working and studying remotely.

From Fortune

Greening that supply chain is crucial to the consumer electronics giant’s goal, announced in July, to have a net zero carbon footprint by 2030.

From Quartz

Fluoride first entered an American water supply through a rather inelegant technocratic scheme.

But the qualities Mario Cuomo brought to public life—compassion, integrity, commitment to principle—remain in short supply today.

If you answered seven or more of these correctly, you are eligible for a lifetime supply of Metamucil.

In Mosul, foreign fighters have left, the city is flooded with refugees and supply routes are cut off.

It would seek to cut off the main Allied lines of supply and communication.

First, how about the expansibility needed to supply adequate funds for crop-moving?

What course was taken to supply that assembly when any noble family became extinct?

You see, I am the city undertaker, and the people are dying here so fast, that I can hardly supply the demand for coffins.

Almost one-quarter of the total supply printed has been placed in circulation.

The increased volume of the supply thus produced inevitably forces down the price till it sinks to the point of cost.


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More About Supply

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.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




supplicationsupply and demand