supply chain


plural supply chains
: the chain of processes, businesses, etc. by which a commodity is produced and distributed : the companies, materials, and systems involved in manufacturing and delivering goods
The pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of the global supply chain—that's the usually invisible pathway of manufacturing, transportation and logistics that gets goods from where they are manufactured, mined or grown to where they are going. At the end of the chain is another company or a consumer who has paid for the finished product.Peter S. Goodman
Everyday life in the United States is acutely dependent on the perpetual motion of the supply chain, in which food and medicine and furniture and clothing all compete for many of the same logistical resources. … [W]hen a finite supply of packaging can't keep up with demand, when there aren't enough longshoremen or truck drivers or postal workers, when a container ship gets wedged sideways in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes—the effects ripple outward for weeks or months, emptying shelves and raising prices in ways that can seem random. All of a sudden, you can't buy kettlebells or canned seltzer.Amanda Mull

Examples of supply chain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For its part, Tesla says the decrease in deliveries has more to do with supply chain, delivery, and production issues. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 3 Apr. 2024 Their robust understanding of media and content supply chain offers a strategic approach in designing, implementing, and executing new workflows to accelerate the smooth transition to more efficient processes. Miami Herald, 3 Apr. 2024 On Wednesday, Li suggested the company’s global supply chain can help insulate it from rising trade protectionism around the world. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 1 Apr. 2024 In this specific case, Big Tech companies are trying to make sure less of their supply chains rely on China, a growing political frenemy of the U.S. Morgan Haefner, Quartz, 31 Mar. 2024 After that a clearer picture of the supply chain issues will emerge. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 31 Mar. 2024 Fain emphasized that the result is a more sustainable supply chain that promotes national security through food security. Heather Wishart-Smith, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 Earlier, the governors of New York and New Jersey said their Port Authority could take on additional cargo to minimize supply chain disruptions. Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN, 29 Mar. 2024 Tracing one container through a broken global supply chain Nov. 5, 2021 Gulf Coast and western ports, such as those in Los Angeles and Long Beach, have more capacity for specialty containers and bulk goods, Cherin said. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'supply chain.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of supply chain was in 1948

Dictionary Entries Near supply chain

Cite this Entry

“Supply chain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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