plural supplies

Definition of supply

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the quantity or amount (as of a commodity) needed or available beer was in short supply in that hot weather— Nevil Shute
b : provisions, stores usually used in plural
c : a member of the clergy filling a vacant pulpit temporarily
d obsolete : reinforcements often used in plural
2 : the act or process of filling a want or need engaged in the supply of raw materials to industry
3 : the quantities of goods or services offered for sale at a particular time or at one price
4 : something that maintains or constitutes a supply
5 obsolete : assistance, succor


sup·​ply | \ sə-ˈplī How to pronounce supply (audio) \
supplied; supplying

Definition of supply (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 [Middle French souploier, alteration of soupplier]
a : to make available for use : provide supplied the necessary funds
b : to satisfy the needs or wishes of
c : to provide for : satisfy laws by which the material wants of men are suppliedBulletin of Bates College
d : to furnish (organs, tissues, or cells) with a vital element (such as blood or nerve fibers)
2 : to substitute for another in specifically : to serve as a supply in (a church or pulpit)
3 : to add as a supplement

intransitive verb

: to serve as a supply or substitute


Definition of supply (Entry 3 of 3)

less common spelling of

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Other Words from supply


supplier \ sə-​ˈplī(-​ə)r How to pronounce supplier (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for supply

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of supply in a Sentence

Noun adequate supplies of fresh water He bought a month's supply of cigarettes. They took a month's worth of supplies on the camping trip. The town is in need of basic medical supplies. a store that sells art supplies The state is trying to disrupt the supply of illegal drugs. The storm interrupted the town's electricity supply. Verb The company supplied the necessary money. You'll have to supply your own food.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Food costs have gone up because of strains on the supply chain, which means Gleaners is competing against retailers just to place orders. Ethan Sears, The Indianapolis Star, "Gleaners teams up with Andretti Harding Steinbrenner in food security campaign," 3 July 2020 The past few years have been tumultuous for corporate supply chain managers. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Supply chain leaders are itching to get out of China," 2 July 2020 Top news and in-depth analysis on the world of logistics, from supply chain to transport and technology. Elaine Chen, WSJ, "Trucking, Warehouse Companies Boost Hiring in June," 2 July 2020 The masks were also largely manufactured overseas, whereas the syringe supply chain is more diverse, Powell said. Katie Wedell, USA TODAY, "As vaccine hopes rise, U.S. races to buy syringes to avoid a mask-shortage scenario.," 2 July 2020 Broad outlines are important, but the details are key when determining how specific parts in an automobile that is produced through a global supply chain are going to be classified under the trade deal. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "New trade agreement means steep learning curve for auto industry," 2 July 2020 Odwalla products had been delivered to retail locations via a fleet of about 230 refrigerated trucks — one example of how certain products can introduce complications into a company's supply chain. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, "Coca-Cola is shutting down Odwalla juice," 1 July 2020 Workers United wrote to Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass and the company's board of directors condemning the company canceling pending orders and withholding payment from apparel factories in its supply chain. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Workers' union is asking Kohl's to 'pay up' for canceled orders during the pandemic," 1 July 2020 At the same time, India must maintain ties with China for critical supply chain goods like pharmaceutical ingredients or funding for its tech sector. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "How India’s ‘Made in China’ boycott could backfire," 30 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The company has agreed to supply over a billion doses to Europe, Britain, America, and GAVI, a vaccine finance group. The Economist, "Covid-19 Oxford University is leading in the vaccine race," 2 July 2020 The drugs were likely destined to supply a network of criminal groups around Europe, police said. NBC News, "Italian police seize 14 tons of amphetamines with possible ISIS link," 1 July 2020 Many school districts have contracts with local police departments to supply school resource officers, while others, such as the Austin district, have their own internal police departments. Kristin Finan And Sarah Asch, USA TODAY, "Austin schools suspend Black students nearly 5 times as often as white students," 30 June 2020 In 127 less developed countries, Gilead is allowing generic makers to supply the drug; two countries are doing that for around $600 per treatment course. CBS News, "Gilead's remdesivir will cost $3,120 for patients with private insurance," 29 June 2020 The Idaho telecom company chose Nokia to supply the radio access network. Washington Post, "A remote corner of Idaho has become the best hope for the U.S. challenge to Huawei," 29 June 2020 In some countries lacking the tools for analysis of the testing, the focus is on trying to supply diagnostic devices as quickly as possible, the chairman was quoted as saying. Fortune, "Roche says demand for COVID-19 tests exceeds production," 27 June 2020 In exchange, David and Ken Widner agreed to supply DNA samples to prove (or disprove) bones that had washed up in San Francisco Bay were those of John and/or Clarence Anglin, as the FBI had suggested. al, "A 1958 Alcatraz prison break’s strange ties to an Alabama bank robbery, prison death," 24 June 2020 New facilities are cranking out masks in Scotland and the United Arab Emirates, which Honeywell uses to supply its commercial customers. Thomas Black,, "Even Honeywell’s Mask Man Can’t Get Enough," 23 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'supply.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of supply


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for supply


Middle English supplien to complete, compensate for, from Middle French soupplier, from Latin supplēre to fill up, complete, raise (a military unit, crew) to its full complement, substitute, from sub- up + plēre to fill — more at sub-, full

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Time Traveler for supply

Time Traveler

The first known use of supply was in the 14th century

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Statistics for supply

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Supply.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for supply



English Language Learners Definition of supply

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the amount of something that is available to be used
: things (such as food, equipment, fuel, etc.) that are needed for a particular purpose and that will be used by a particular person or group
: the process or system by which something is provided to a person, place, etc.


How to pronounce supply (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of supply (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something) available to be used : to provide someone or something with (something that is needed or wanted)


sup·​ply | \ sə-ˈplī How to pronounce supply (audio) \
supplied; supplying

Kids Definition of supply

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to provide for : satisfy There is enough to supply the demand.
2 : to make available : furnish The tree supplies shade.


plural supplies

Kids Definition of supply (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the amount of something that is needed or can be gotten medical supplies
2 : store entry 2 sense 3 I keep a supply of pencils in my desk.
3 : the act or process of providing something The company is engaged in the supply of raw materials.
sup·​ply | \ sə-ˈplī How to pronounce supply (audio) \
supplied; supplying

Medical Definition of supply

: to furnish (organs, tissues, or cells) with a vital element (as blood or nerve fibers) used of nerves and blood vessels the mandibular foramen transmits blood vessels and nerves supplying the lower teeth

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