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

budget, force, fund, inventory, pool, repertoire, reservoir, stock

Synonyms: Verb

accoutre (or accouter), equip, fit (out), furnish, gird, kit (up or out) [chiefly British], outfit, provision, rig

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Examples of supply in a Sentence


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.


The company supplied the necessary money. You'll have to supply your own food.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Russell said some drop-off spots are already stocked with relief supplies and he's fielded calls from other organizations and residents that want to help. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Hurricane Dorian has wreaked havoc on the Bahamas. Here's how you can help:," 3 Sep. 2019 The agents were able to collect nearly 90 backpacks this year, some of which came from the Almaden Lion’s Club, each packed with school supplies for homeless children. Bang Staff And Correspondents, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Compass agents donate backpacks, supplies and funds for local children," 3 Sep. 2019 Kevin Browning in Vero Beach has put up hurricane shutters, bought a generator and is stocked with supplies. Seth Borenstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Cutting it close: Florida’s fate may be a matter of miles," 2 Sep. 2019 These hotels are said to be at odds with the local cultural and architectural heritage, while their location causes problems with local food supplies. Natasha Frost, Quartzy, "What’s behind a stratospheric tourism boom in the tiny European nation of Georgia," 31 Aug. 2019 The car had been ransacked, but the only item the victim could immediately say was missing was a plastic bag filled with school supplies. La Cañada Valley Sun, "Crime Report: Victim’s credit cards, stolen while she was grocery shopping, used at Town Center store," 21 Aug. 2019 Minnesota United’s free farmers market on Aug. 13 distributed 14,000 pounds of food, 725 backpacks with school supplies and 100 blizzard bags for winter preparedness to about 600 residents. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Loons will be missing three starters for Thursday’s game at Kansas City," 20 Aug. 2019 Thousands of kids were given backpacks stuffed with school supplies at the annual event organized by the Santee Mobilehome Owners Action Committee. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Santee mobile home owners group hands out thousands of backpacks for kids," 19 Aug. 2019 As Kendall notes, the city’s luxury residential market is awash with supply at the moment, which has depressed prices and slowed down sales. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "‘Succession’ Recap, S2E2: Media Matters," 19 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Higher pump prices represent a political risk for President Donald Trump, who authorized the release of oil from the nation’s strategic reserve to keep the market well-supplied. Bloomberg News, oregonlive, "U.S. gas prices could top $3/gallon after Saudi oil attack," 17 Sep. 2019 Marleanna Hall, executive director of the Resource Development Council, an industry trade group, said Alaska should help supply the nation’s rising demand for minerals, replacing foreign imports. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Conservationists and hunters denounce state-financed mining road across the northern Alaska wilderness," 11 Sep. 2019 The only foreign payload is the laser reflector, which was supplied by NASA. Wired, "India Is Ready to Touch Down Near the Moon’s South Pole," 5 Sep. 2019 Workers within the boundaries of the AX Tank Farm will wear supplied air respirators as protection against breathing in the vapors. Annette Cary, The Seattle Times, "After years of preparation, work to empty Hanford leak-prone waste tanks is ready to restart," 30 Aug. 2019 The week-long event includes volunteering efforts, a school supplies giveaway and a parade Wednesday down Pratt Street. Jessica Anderson,, "5,000 Prince Hall Shriners descend on Baltimore this week, bearing message of diabetes prevention," 17 Aug. 2019 It can also be plumbed in line to supplement a separate tankless water heater, taking some of the load off of it, an especially useful feature to help supply high-demand fixtures far from the tankless heater. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "Why Your Next Water Heater Should Be Tankless," 14 Aug. 2019 The fake meat patty, which costs only a dollar more than the beef version, is supplied by Impossible Foods. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Burger King’s nationwide rollout of the Impossible Whopper starts next week," 1 Aug. 2019 Many are wary that crumbling global growth amid trade tensions and steady U.S. output will keep markets well supplied. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Tropical Storm Barry Helps Spark Fuel-Price Rebound," 12 July 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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Statistics for supply

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for supply

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

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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.



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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More from Merriam-Webster on supply

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with supply

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for supply

Spanish Central: Translation of supply

Nglish: Translation of supply for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of supply for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about supply

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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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