sup·​port | \ sə-ˈpȯrt How to pronounce support (audio) \
supported; supporting; supports

Definition of support

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to endure bravely or quietly : bear
2a(1) : to promote the interests or cause of
(2) : to uphold or defend as valid or right : advocate supports fair play
(3) : to argue or vote for supported the motion to lower taxes
b(1) : assist, help bombers supported the ground troops
(2) : to act with (a star actor)
(3) : to bid in bridge so as to show support for
c : to provide with substantiation : corroborate support an alibi
3a : to pay the costs of : maintain support a family
b : to provide a basis for the existence or subsistence of the island could probably support three— A. B. C. Whipple support a habit
4a : to hold up or serve as a foundation or prop for
b : to maintain (a price) at a desired level by purchases or loans also : to maintain the price of by purchases or loans
5 : to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage : comfort
6 : to keep (something) going



Definition of support (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act or process of supporting : the condition of being supported
b : assistance provided by a company to users of its products customer support
2 : one that supports often used attributively a support staff
3 : sufficient strength in a suit bid by one's partner in bridge to justify raising the suit

Other Words from support


supportability \ sə-​ˌpȯr-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce support (audio) \ noun
supportable \ sə-​ˈpȯr-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce support (audio) \ adjective
supportive \ sə-​ˈpȯr-​tiv How to pronounce support (audio) \ adjective
supportiveness \ sə-​ˈpȯr-​tiv-​nəs How to pronounce support (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for support


support, uphold, advocate, back, champion mean to favor actively one that meets opposition. support is least explicit about the nature of the assistance given. supports waterfront development uphold implies extended support given to something attacked. upheld the legitimacy of the military action advocate stresses urging or pleading. advocated prison reform back suggests supporting by lending assistance to one failing or falling. refusing to back the call for sanctions champion suggests publicly defending one unjustly attacked or too weak to advocate his or her own cause. championed the rights of children

Examples of support in a Sentence

Verb I completely support your decision to stay. She no longer supports the war. The senator says that he supports the proposed legislation. Which presidential candidate do you support? The study is supported by the American Medical Association. The country's citizens were asked to support the war effort. Her friends supported her by signing her petition. The charity supports needy families. Bombers were called in to support the ground troops. The planet's atmosphere cannot support human life. Noun The team gets a lot of support from its fans. I'd like to thank my parents for all of their love and support over the years. He depended on his wife for emotional support. He applied for financial support from the state. the company's friendly support staff Inspectors found that some of the bridge's supports were weak. She used my arm as a support and limped to the chair. These sneakers are designed to give your feet extra support. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While Federer does not often discuss his family life publicly, his kids have been in the stands to support him at major matches. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 21 Sep. 2022 This past spring, the foundation awarded discretionary grants totaling more than $230,000 to support 13 local social service providers. Chicago Tribune, 20 Sep. 2022 The state has awarded over $471,955 in grant funding to 27 school districts in the last 18 months to support early literacy screening assessment purchases. Adria Watson,, 20 Sep. 2022 Clarkson's mother, her daughter, River, 8 and son, Remington, 6, were also there to support her. Marianne Garvey, CNN, 20 Sep. 2022 The real magic of ritual practices, which can support us in managing anxiety in uncertain times. Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2022 Buffalo will mount a better pass rush and support it with zone coverage. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Sep. 2022 Not only did both Jameson and Nelson both agree with this take, there is pitch data to support it. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 18 Sep. 2022 Maike later said that the banks had agreed to support it, including by offering extensions on existing loans. Jack Farchy, Fortune, 18 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rupe’s directness extends to his support for those who work on the local theater scene. Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 22 Sep. 2022 Despite his support for the war, Mr. Girkin has been critical of the Russian campaign in Ukraine. Isabel Coles, WSJ, 22 Sep. 2022 In the comment section, friends of the late actor poured in love and support for the grieving son. Giovana Gelhoren, Peoplemag, 21 Sep. 2022 McKee used to clash with teachers’ unions over his support for charter schools, but the National Education Association Rhode Island endorsed him in the Democratic primary for governor. Dan Mcgowan,, 21 Sep. 2022 Thanks to my family for all the love and support and to my God for all his favors. Jessica Roiz, Billboard, 20 Sep. 2022 This isn’t the first grand gesture of love and support from the comedian to his daughter. Elizabeth Ayoola, Essence, 19 Sep. 2022 In open session, trustee Michael Allman spoke about his support for the LGBTQ community, after his involvement in a private Facebook group’s post containing derogatory comments. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Sep. 2022 To combat the state’s drug addiction scourge, Beshear pointed to his long-running support for efforts to steer people into treatment programs to overcome addiction. Fox News, 16 Sep. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of support


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for support


Middle English, from Anglo-French supporter, from Late Latin supportare, from Latin, to transport, from sub- + portare to carry — more at fare

Learn More About support

Time Traveler for support

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near support

supply teacher



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Statistics for support

Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Support.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for support


sup·​port | \ sə-ˈpȯrt How to pronounce support (audio) \
supported; supporting

Kids Definition of support

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to hold up or in position : serve as a foundation or prop for Posts support the porch roof.
2 : to take sides with : favor Which candidate do you support?
3 : to provide evidence for : verify They cannot support this claim.
4 : to pay the costs of : maintain His income supports a large family.
5 : to keep going : sustain There is not enough air to support life.
6 : to provide help or encouragement to My friends supported me while I was sick.

Other Words from support

supporter noun



Kids Definition of support (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of supporting : the condition of being supported
2 : someone or something that supports


transitive verb
sup·​port | \ sə-ˈpō(ə)rt, -ˈpȯ(ə)rt How to pronounce support (audio) \

Medical Definition of support

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to hold up or serve as a foundation or prop for
2 : to maintain in condition, action, or existence support respiration support life



Medical Definition of support (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or process of supporting : the condition of being supported respiratory support
2 : supporter


transitive verb

Legal Definition of support

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : to promote the interests or cause of
b : to uphold or defend as valid or right
c : to argue or vote for
2 : to provide with substantiation or corroboration support an alibi
3 : to provide with the means of livelihood (as housing, food, or clothing) especially in accordance with an agreement or court order
4 : to hold up or in position : maintain the physical integrity of the right to have one's land supported by the underlying land



Legal Definition of support (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or process of supporting : the condition of being supported pledged the candidate their support
2 : a means of obtaining the necessities of life (as food, shelter, and clothing) : a source of livelihood especially in the form of alimony or child support
3 : something that provides support

More from Merriam-Webster on support

Nglish: Translation of support for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of support for Arabic Speakers


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