Definition of support in English:


Line breaks: sup|port
Pronunciation: /səˈpɔːt


[with object]
  • 1Bear all or part of the weight of; hold up: the dome was supported by a hundred white columns
    More example sentences
    • The sixty-three-ton dome was also supported by reinforced braces.
    • A structural, or load bearing, brick wall is a wall in which brick supports the weight of the structure.
    • It is the frame that supports the weight of the prop and the child actor, distributing it across the body of the bearer.
    hold up, bear, carry, prop up, keep up, bolster up, brace, shore up, underpin, buttress, reinforce
  • 2Give assistance to, especially financially: the government gives £2,500 million a year to support the voluntary sector
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    • These people are supported financially and given all assistance to be self-sufficient in our community and this cost a lot of money.
    • He's in love with her but is too much of a coward to leave Vanessa, who supports him financially.
    • One of the ways liberals hope to regain that ground is by following the conservative model of running and financially supporting candidates in local races.
    help, aid, assist; contribute to, give a donation to, give money to, back, underwrite, subsidize, fund, finance, succour
    North American informal bankroll
    back, champion, give help to, help, assist, aid, be on the side of, side with, favour, prefer, abet, aid and abet, encourage; vote for, ally oneself with, stand behind, fall in with, stand up for, defend, take someone's part, take up the cudgels for; sponsor, vouch for, second, promote, endorse, sanction, approve of, give one's blessing to, smile on
  • 2.1Provide with a home and the necessities of life: my main concern was to support my family
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    • Men were dedicated to providing for and supporting their family and raising noteworthy children.
    • Other countries have been perhaps more successful at striking a balance between economic necessities and supporting the family.
    • All my life they have supported me and provided all the necessary things.
    provide for, provide sustenance for, maintain, sustain, keep, take care of, look after
  • 2.2Give approval, comfort, or encouragement to: the proposal was supported by many delegates
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    • Your spouse is there to comfort and support you so depend on him or her a little.
    • We will do our best to comfort and support them in every way while you do your duty.
    • Your loving partner supports you through troubled waters.
    give moral support to, give strength to, be a source of strength to, comfort, bring comfort to, sustain, encourage, buoy up, hearten, fortify, console, solace, give sympathy to, reassure, succour, soothe
    informal buck up
    advocate, promote, further, champion, back, be on the side of, espouse, espouse the cause of, be in favour of, recommend, defend, subscribe to
  • 2.3Be actively interested in and concerned for the success of (a particular sports team): fans should always support their team fully, no matter what
    More example sentences
    • The degree to which an alum or member goes out and actively supports the team or association is an important measure of active loyalty.
    • Win or lose, we're always there, supporting the team.
    • I've always supported the Indian team whenever they are here.
  • 2.4 (as adjective supporting) (Of an actor or role) of secondary importance to the leading roles in a play or film: the production’s greatest successes are in the main supporting roles
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    • Now she knows what she wants, her career has become secondary - thus her choice of supporting roles in ensemble films such as Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve and Full Frontal.
    • He will soon be cast as a supporting actor in a film.
    • Why do they have supporting actor categories for film, but not for television?
  • 2.5(Of a pop or rock group or performer) function as a secondary act to (another) at a concert.
  • 4Produce enough food and water for; be capable of sustaining: the land had lost its capacity to support life
    More example sentences
    • After all, a river that can hold huge carp and catfish should, in theory, have enough food to support some big barbel.
    • Fed by upland streams, its brackish waters supported a wide variety of life.
    • This could signal that Mars, a dry and cold planet, was once an environment friendly enough to support life.
  • 6(Of a computer or operating system) allow the use or operation of (a program, language, or device): the new versions do not support the graphical user interface standard
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    • The thing doesn't support Hyper-Threading in its current BIOS version.
    • All Intel chipsets supporting 533MHz system bus do support Hyper-Threading.
    • What's interesting about this is that the 3.06GHz Pentium 4 was the first P4 to officially support Hyper-Threading.


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  • 1A thing that bears the weight of something or keeps it upright: the best support for a camera is a tripod
    More example sentences
    • Officers called to the scene found the old-style red cast iron phone kiosk in smithereens with just the four corner upright supports still standing.
    • The functional requirements of a toast-rack are far less stringent, and this is one of a series of designs in which Dresser plays with different geometrical possibilities for creating a row of upright supports.
    • If it's a small target, like the upright supports of a bridge or the mouth of a cave, you need a bomb that will land within ten feet of where you aim it.
    pillar, post, prop, underprop, underpinning, base, substructure, foundation; brace, buttress, abutment, bolster, upright, stay, stand, trestle, crutch, plinth
  • 1.1 [mass noun] The action of supporting something or someone or the state of being supported: she clutched the sideboard for support
    More example sentences
    • He was leaning on the back of the sofa for support and wearing a satisfied smirk.
    • Sheila found herself clutching the sideboard for support as a surge of vertigo threatened to overcome her.
    • He seems none the worse for wear, despite momentarily leaning on his scythe for support.
  • 3 [mass noun] Evidence that serves to corroborate something: the study provides support for both theories
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    • Old evidence provides support only within the context of competition between hypotheses.
    • The prosecution point principally but not solely to the telephone evidence as providing such support.
    • Two independent lines of evidence provide support for our conclusion.
  • 4A secondary act at a pop or rock concert: [as modifier]: a support band
    More example sentences
    • Once the record was out, we started to do gigs as a support act to bands like A Certain Ratio and Inspiral Carpets.
    • Roger hopes to arrange for local rock bands to play support during each Keighley concert.
    • At least normally when the support band's dull you can chat or go to the bar.



More example sentences
  • It's a fantastic opportunity for us to look at and learn about the aircraft's supportability and employability, certainly in hot conditions, and in humid conditions a long way from base.
  • The reliability, maintainability, and supportability of systems, along with improved munitions, fuel efficiencies, and vehicle-produced potable water, are crucial to having a right-sized sustainment footprint.
  • This article advocates that an afloat option has sufficient merit across the spectrum of readiness, responsiveness, supportability, and cost to make it the better choice over the land-basing strategy.


More example sentences
  • The advice will probably be reasonably logical, supportable, and hard to dispute.
  • The court said that although the government's effort to crack down on the evasion of active duty is supportable, the four defendants cannot be punished under the current law.
  • All these things look well reasoned and supportable when doing the analysis.


More example sentences
  • According to officials, the parabolic curve dome, with its supportless span spread over 30 by 45 metres, is an architectural marvel.
  • They work more and more often in the supportless phase and find interesting concluding elements.
  • In routine tests, the gauges were pasted to the loading elements in order to avoid errors connected with supportless fracture under all loading conditions and for all types of impact testing machines.


Middle English (originally in the sense 'tolerate'): from Old French supporter, from Latin supportare, from sub- 'from below' + portare 'carry'.

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