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See more synonyms for supply on Thesaurus.com
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.
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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?
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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.
  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.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for supplying

feed, grant, afford, transfer, contribute, deliver, yield, produce, equip, cater, find, store, fill, satisfy, stake, dispense, drop, purvey, endow, outfit

Examples from the Web for supplying

Contemporary Examples of supplying

Historical Examples of supplying

  • They are, however, capable of supplying at least 300,000 inhabitants with abundance of water.

  • He chose to be rich by making his wants few, and supplying them himself.

  • What a commission from the restaurateur for supplying the refreshments!

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • He said it firmly, almost as if he were supplying her with information which she needed and had lacked.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • "I suppose he is supplying this young minister's pulpit," returned the warden.

    The Elm Tree Tales

    F. Irene Burge Smith

British Dictionary definitions for supplying


verb -plies, -plying or -plied
  1. (tr often foll by with) to furnish with something that is requiredto 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; satisfywho 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) British to fill (a vacancy, position, etc)
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noun plural -plies
    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 priceCompare demand (def. 9)
  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
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Derived Formssuppliable, adjectivesupplier, noun

Word Origin for supply

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



supplely (ˈsʌpə)

  1. in a supple manner
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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 supplying



late 14c., "to help, support, maintain," also "fill up, make up for," from Old French supplier "fill up, make full," from Latin supplere "fill up, complete," from sub "up from below" + plere "to fill" (see pleio-). The meaning "furnish, provide" first recorded 1520s. Related: Supplied; supplying.

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early 15c., "assistance, relief," from supply (v.). Meaning "quantity or amount of something provided" is attested from c.1600. In the political economy sense (corollary of demand) it dates from 1776. Supply-side in reference to economic policy is attested from 1976. Supplies "provisions" is from c.1650.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

supplying in Culture


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

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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 supplying


see in short supply.

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