• synonyms


[suh-pawr-tiv, -pohr-]
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  1. giving support.
  2. providing sympathy or encouragement: His family was supportive of his attempts to be a writer.
  3. providing additional help, information, etc.; auxiliary: manufacturers of supportive materials.
  4. Medicine/Medical. helping to maintain a normal physiological balance, as by the intravenous administration of required nutriment.
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Origin of supportive

First recorded in 1585–95; support + -ive
Related formssup·port·ive·ness, nounnon·sup·port·ive, adjectiveun·sup·port·ive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for supportive


  1. providing support, esp moral or emotional support
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Derived Formssupportively, adverbsupportiveness, noun
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 supportive


1590s, from support + -ive. Called "rare" in OED (1933). Related: Supportively; supportiveness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper