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transitive verb sup·port \sə-ˈpȯrt\

Simple Definition of support

  • : to agree with or approve of (someone or something)

  • : to show that you approve of (someone or something) by doing something

  • : to give help or assistance to (someone or something)

Full Definition of support

  1. 1 :  to endure bravely or quietly :  bear

  2. 2a (1) :  to promote the interests or cause of (2) :  to uphold or defend as valid or right :  advocate <supports fair play> (3) :  to argue or vote for <supported the motion to lower taxes>b (1) :  assist, help <bombers supported the ground troops> (2) :  to act with (a star actor) (3) :  to bid in bridge so as to show support forc :  to provide with substantiation :  corroborate <support an alibi>

  3. 3a :  to pay the costs of :  maintain <support a family>b :  to provide a basis for the existence or subsistence of <the island could probably support three — A. B. C. Whipple> <support a habit>

  4. 4a :  to hold up or serve as a foundation or prop forb :  to maintain (a price) at a desired level by purchases or loans; also :  to maintain the price of by purchases or loans

  5. 5 :  to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage :  comfort

  6. 6 :  to keep (something) going

sup·port·abil·i·ty play \sə-ˌpȯr-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
sup·port·able play \-ˈpȯr-tə-bəl\ adjective
sup·port·ive play \-ˈpȯr-tiv\ adjective
sup·port·ive·ness play \-nəs\ noun

Examples of support

  1. I completely support your decision to stay.

  2. She no longer supports the war.

  3. The senator says that he supports the proposed legislation.

  4. Which presidential candidate do you support?

  5. The study is supported by the American Medical Association.

  6. The country's citizens were asked to support the war effort.

  7. Her friends supported her by signing her petition.

  8. The charity supports needy families.

  9. Bombers were called in to support the ground troops.

  10. The planet's atmosphere cannot support human life.

Origin of support

Middle English, from Anglo-French supporter, from Late Latin supportare, from Latin, to transport, from sub- + portare to carry — more at fare

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of support

support, uphold, advocate, back, champion mean to favor actively one that meets opposition. support is least explicit about the nature of the assistance given <supports waterfront development>. uphold implies extended support given to something attacked <upheld the legitimacy of the military action>. advocate stresses urging or pleading <advocated prison reform>. back suggests supporting by lending assistance to one failing or falling <refusing to back the call for sanctions>. champion suggests publicly defending one unjustly attacked or too weak to advocate his or her own cause <championed the rights of children>.



noun sup·port

Simple Definition of support

  • : the act of showing that you believe that someone or something is good or acceptable : approval of someone or something

  • : the act of helping someone by giving love, encouragement, etc.

  • : help that is given in the form of money or other valuable things

Full Definition of support

  1. 1a :  the act or process of supporting :  the condition of being supportedb :  assistance provided by a company to users of its products <customer support>

  2. 2 :  one that supports —often used attributively <a support staff>

  3. 3 :  sufficient strength in a suit bid by one's partner in bridge to justify raising the suit

Examples of support

  1. The team gets a lot of support from its fans.

  2. I'd like to thank my parents for all of their love and support over the years.

  3. He depended on his wife for emotional support.

  4. He applied for financial support from the state.

  5. the company's friendly support staff

  6. Inspectors found that some of the bridge's supports were weak.

  7. She used my arm as a support and limped to the chair.

  8. These sneakers are designed to give your feet extra support.

14th Century

First Known Use of support

14th century

SUPPORT Defined for Kids



verb sup·port \sə-ˈpȯrt\

Definition of support


  1. 1 :  to hold up or in position :  serve as a foundation or prop for <Posts support the porch roof.>

  2. 2 :  to take sides with :  favor <Which candidate do you support?>

  3. 3 :  to provide evidence for :  verify <They cannot support this claim.>

  4. 4 :  to pay the costs of :  maintain <His income supports a large family.>

  5. 5 :  to keep going :  sustain <There is not enough air to support life.>

  6. 6 :  to provide help or encouragement to <My friends supported me while I was sick.>

sup·port·er noun



noun sup·port

Definition of support

  1. 1 :  the act of supporting :  the condition of being supported

  2. 2 :  someone or something that supports

Seen and Heard

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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