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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from supply


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

Synonyms for supply

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The area also includes multiple vape supply stores that sell vitamin E acetate. NBC News, "11 Los Angeles firefighters injured in downtown explosion," 17 May 2020 While there’s no long-term threat to the nation’s meat supply, prices are rising, about 10% to 20% on average. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: California’s ‘rainy day’ is here," 15 May 2020 Many food supply analysts and humanitarian assistance experts would add a fourth factor to Mr. Beasley’s perfect storm. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "From pandemic to famine: Can world meet food crisis fast enough?," 15 May 2020 The victory gardens were not just for the summer but for a full year’s food supply. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "'Victory gardens' are making a comeback. Here's how they started in Indianapolis.," 15 May 2020 And the industry could face parts supply interruptions from Mexico, where the government wants to reopen factories despite rising virus cases. CBS News, "Auto workers to return to work, providing hope in jobs crisis," 15 May 2020 The women began donating their own time and supplies during the second week of April to make masks at home. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, "A team from MOT's costume department is making masks to aid COVID-19 fight," 15 May 2020 The crisis has also highlighted how vulnerable global supply chains are to such shocks. Time, "Taiwanese Chipmaker Plans to Build $12 Billion Factory in Arizona," 15 May 2020 If China moved to cut off chip supplies, presumably in an unlikely act of war, could not production shift to factories in the U.S., Ireland, Israel, or any other countries? Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "A new chip factory is coming to America, but at what cost?," 15 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To continue the rate of providing 25,000 meals a week since the program began on March 24, Momentum Eats is currently seeking more corporate sponsors that can supply shelf-stable foods as well as individual contributions. Amanda Albee, Dallas News, "Cafe Momentum expands its free-meal program to serve Dallas ISD and other nonprofits," 13 May 2020 In Japan, plants that supply personal care company Unicharm Corp. have been working around the clock since Jan. 17 after orders increased ten-fold, according to spokesman Hitoshi Watanabe. Lulu Yilun Chen,, "China’s Virus Outbreak Triggers a Global Run on Face Masks," 13 May 2020 DeBiasi said the children's hearts either aren't pumping normally or there is inflammation in the coronary arteries that supply blood flow to the heart. NBC News, "As cases of rare COVID-linked illness in kids rise, Fauci warns much remains unknown," 12 May 2020 Many of the children had fever and symptoms similar to toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation in the walls of blood vessels, including those that supply blood to the heart. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "US nears 80,000 coronavirus deaths amid states reopening," 11 May 2020 Days later, Curry resurfaced in preparation for the 2008 Indy 500 as the chief engineer for Marty Roth’s Roth Racing entries that also supplied a car for the late John Andretti. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Larry Curry, who had rollercoaster IndyCar career as team engineer and manager, dies at 68," 9 May 2020 Factories that supply those businesses would also be allowed to resume operating. Los Angeles Times, "California reopening begins Friday: Here is what it is going to look like," 7 May 2020 Much of Arizona had a wet winter, which filled the reservoirs on the Salt and Verde rivers that supply Phoenix. Ian James, azcentral, "Supercharged by climate change, ‘megadrought’ points to drier future in the West," 6 May 2020 The executive committee met twice a month and oversaw a network of expert working groups that supplied detailed data on such threats as flu, emerging diseases, smallpox and others. Anchorage Daily News, "Before the pandemic, Trump’s stockpile chief put the focus on biodefense. An old client benefited.," 5 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about supply

Time Traveler for supply

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for supply

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Supply.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on supply

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!