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 Camara Aunique: Get all 6 lashes in a bundle for just $54 while supplies last. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "These Are The Black-Owned Beauty Sales We're Shopping This Black Friday," 28 Nov. 2019 The money is used to help people with things such as rent, car repairs, utility bills, school supplies, and more. cleveland, "CRS appoints Ohradzansky as executive director: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 23 Nov. 2019 Weingarten’s sharp wit supplies so much of the reading pleasure. Karen Sandstrom, Washington Post, "What happened on a December day in 1986? A little bit of everything.," 22 Nov. 2019 The night includes wreath making supplies, step by step instruction, bow demonstration, wine tasting stations and small plate appetizers. Holly Baumbach,, "Things to do in Chicago today | Nov. 21," 21 Nov. 2019 South Africa is one of the only countries that exports a legal supply of lion (or any big cat) body parts. Nichole Sobecki, National Geographic, "Exclusive: Inside a controversial South African lion farm," 21 Nov. 2019 Their current Pre-Black Friday sale is select styles up to 60% off, while supplies last. Bianca Nieves, Teen Vogue, "The Best H&M Black Friday Deals in 2019: Everything You Must Buy," 21 Nov. 2019 Running out of weapons and supplies, protesters at PolyU on Monday sought to flee the campus, only to find all their routes blocked by a cordon of heavily armed riot police officers and a hailstorm of tear gas and rubber bullets., "As other protests raged across the city, Hong Kong’s High Court on Monday struck down a contentious ban on the wearing of face masks in public. The court found that the ban, enacted in October, violated the territory’s miniconstitution, known as the Basic Law.," 19 Nov. 2019 General operating expenditures mostly refers to employees salaries, supplies, materials, hourly substitutes and nonpublic placement costs for students, Hartlove said. Catalina Righter,, "Carroll school board talks possible new positions in school security, health," 18 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Clark also said only about 2% of asylum seekers are supplied legal representation, greatly reducing their chances to gain asylum. Arkansas Online, "Asylum-seekers face new barrier," 24 Nov. 2019 Thank heavens, history comes well-supplied with inspirational stories of bravery, achievement, originality, and wisdom. Patty Limerick, The Denver Post, "Limerick: The history we are blessed to repeat," 19 Nov. 2019 Or get plenty of exercise riding your bike around the island; every cottage is supplied with bikes for guests’ use. Diane Bair And Pamela Wright, USA TODAY, "Enjoy the Perfectly Private Petit St. Vincent," 12 Nov. 2019 Technical ingenuity was supplied by Pennsylvania Germans from Lancaster County who designed Conestoga wagons. Mary Ann Ashcraft,, "Carroll Yesteryears: Conestoga wagon an appropriate image for Carroll County seal," 11 Oct. 2019 The attendant at the two unisex bathrooms in East Village’s Faultline Park, for instance, is supplied by Pinnacle, the developer of nearby condos. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Gotta go: inside downtown San Diego’s public bathrooms," 6 Oct. 2019 The conditions also aren't entirely simple, as there are a number of reaction intermediates that must be supplied. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Single reaction mixture can produce all four RNA bases," 4 Oct. 2019 The overall effect has been to keep the market better supplied than in the past. Scott L. Montgomery, The Conversation, "Attacks on Saudi oil – why didn’t prices go crazy?," 23 Sep. 2019 That stockpile was intended to supply the industry into the future. Justin Grubb, National Geographic, "Trade in sea turtle products is banned, but they’re still sold in Japan," 20 Sep. 2019

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

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Supply.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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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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).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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