sup·​ple·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌsə-plə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce supplementary (audio) , -ˈmen-trē\

Definition of supplementary

1 : added or serving as a supplement : additional supplementary reading
2 : being or relating to a supplement or a supplementary angle

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for supplementary


accessorial, accessory, appurtenant, auxiliary, peripheral, supplemental


chief, main, principal

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of supplementary in a Sentence

a list of supplementary material for the class the teacher's edition of the textbook comes with a lot of supplementary material

Recent Examples on the Web

Coaches and fans alike have long recognized whistles favor star players versus supplementary glue guys and rookies. Jake Fischer,, "Coach's Challenges Are Coming: Is the NBA Ready?," 10 July 2019 Corporate and government workers also make payments into supplementary schemes. The Economist, "Japan’s pension problems are a harbinger of challenges elsewhere," 9 July 2019 He's spent 12 seasons as a guide on the world's highest peak and has summited it eight times -- once without supplementary oxygen, which almost cost him his life. George Ramsay, CNN, "Everest deaths: 'Corners are being massively cut'," 24 June 2019 The supplementary sites aren’t required reading; a Westworld fan who just wants to watch the TV show will be fine. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Westworld’s digital marketing is giving fans sneak peeks at the show’s biggest secrets," 24 May 2018 Mexico on Friday released a copy of a supplementary agreement to stop migrant flows into the U.S. -- days after Trump inadvertently flashed parts of the deal to cameras. Fox News, "Mexico releases full text of migration agreement that Trump inadvertently flashed to cameras," 16 June 2019 Italian Reinhold Messner and Austrian Peter Habeler reached the summit without use of supplementary oxygen, while others on their team used bottled oxygen. Washington Post, "Nepal honors 1st conquest of Everest without bottled oxygen," 19 Apr. 2018 Some areas recycle tires by using them as supplementary fuel in cement kilns. Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste Without Damaging the Environment," 9 Oct. 2018 Oftentimes, people talk about the gig economy as ‘supplementary income’ ... Eric Johnson, Recode, "Silicon Valley has been treating workers ‘miserably’ since the 1970s," 29 Aug. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of supplementary

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about supplementary

Statistics for supplementary

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for supplementary

The first known use of supplementary was in 1667

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for supplementary


sup·​ple·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌsə-plə-ˈmen-tə-rē How to pronounce supplementary (audio) \

Kids Definition of supplementary

: added to something else : additional supplementary income


sup·​ple·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌsəp-lə-ˈment-ə-rē, -ˈmen-trē How to pronounce supplementary (audio) \

Medical Definition of supplementary

: added or serving as a supplement supplementary vitamins


sup·​ple·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌsə-plə-ˈmen-tə-rē, -trē How to pronounce supplementary (audio) \

Legal Definition of supplementary

: added or serving as a supplement

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on supplementary

What made you want to look up supplementary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!