There are 2 main definitions of supply in English:

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supply 1

Pronunciation: /səˈplī/

verb (supplies, supplying, supplied)

[with object]
1Make (something needed or wanted) available to someone; provide: the farm supplies apples to cider makers
More example sentences
  • The crux of the matter is the lack of information supplied by the company, analysts said.
  • Horne pointed out that the test's publishers supplied the only research available on the test.
  • Buckets for daffodils are available if you can supply daffodils.
1.1Provide (someone) with something needed or wanted: they struggled to supply the besieged island with aircraft
More example sentences
  • It is as if by divine providence that I am supplied educational material just when I need it the most.
  • You could also help us by monetary contributions, or by supplying us postal stamps which we can use to send the book to more and more people.
  • The inactive passers-by will hopefully have made a contribution by supplying the police with good descriptions of the raiders.
1.2Be adequate to satisfy (a requirement or demand): the two reservoirs supply about 1% of the city’s needs
More example sentences
  • Three thousand donations are required weekly to supply the demand.
  • In the last three years there has been a 30 per cent increase in potting efforts, with virtually the entire local fleet now supplying the demand of processors in France, Spain and Ireland.
  • What's going on here is a seemingly great solution for supplying a demand.
1.3 archaic Take over (a place or role left by someone else): when she died, no one could supply her place
More example sentences
  • What is there in heaven that supplies its place?

noun (plural supplies)

1A stock of a resource from which a person or place can be provided with the necessary amount of that resource: there were fears that the drought would limit the exhibition’s water supply
More example sentences
  • It would depend on the supply of stocks available and how many targets they have to hit.
  • Yesterday my neighbours made an extra trip to the supermarket, stocking up on extra supplies of bottled water and canned food, ‘just in case the worst happens’.
  • He added that while the store had ordered extra supplies of bottled water, he had not seen any other unusual related sales trends.
1.1The action of providing what is needed or wanted: the deal involved the supply of forty fighter aircraft
More example sentences
  • How will they deal with the issue of power supply?
  • ScottishPower is involved in electricity production and supply in both the UK and the US.
  • Enron's origins were in companies involved in the production and supply of energy.
provision, dissemination, distribution, serving
1.2 Economics The amount of a good or service offered for sale.
Example sentences
  • We know that producers will offer more supply at a higher price than a lower price, and we know that more consumers will buy more at a lower price than a higher price.
  • In the short term, at least, demand for service is far outpacing supply.
  • He believes that fewer apartments will now be built in areas with a surplus of supply.
1.3 (supplies) The provisions and equipment necessary for an army or for people engaged in a particular project or expedition.
Example sentences
  • All necessary injection equipment and supplies are provided for each client in an injection room, as well as the means for disposal.
  • The bulk of USASOC's planning is making sure the right people with the right equipment and necessary supplies are at the right place at the right time.
  • There are too few phone lines, my medical records are in boxes, and all but the most necessary equipment and supplies are in storage.
1.4 (supplies) British A grant of money by Parliament for the costs of government.
1.5 [usually as modifier] A person acting as a temporary substitute for another.
Example sentences
  • The interim teachers will work closely with the existing teachers to cover classes, reducing the number of temporary supply teachers the school needs.
  • Simon's temporary return as a supply teacher was a welcome relief, providing a long-lost focus to the cast's squabbles.
  • Under a innovative scheme launched two years ago, it employs permanent supply teachers to use for cover and has fewer on temporary contracts.
1.6 [as modifier] Providing necessary goods and equipment: a supply ship
More example sentences
  • Desert sand is hard on men and equipment and the supply lines are susceptible to guerrilla attacks.
  • Was there going to be a pause in the offensive or merely a necessary strengthening of the supply lines before the next stage of action?
  • A Royal Fleet Auxiliary supply ship en route to the Middle East has rescued 20 people from a sinking boat in the Mediterranean.



in short supply

Not easily obtainable; scarce: he meant to go, but time and gas were in short supply

supply and demand

The amount of a commodity, product, or service available and the desire of buyers for it, considered as factors regulating its price: by the law of supply and demand the cost of health care will plummet
More example sentences
  • The main task of the ECSC was to stabilize prices and coordinate supply and demand in the coal and steel market.
  • Others argue that in our economy, products find a price point by supply and demand.
  • The price system is that which balances supply and demand for scarce goods.


Late Middle English: from Old French soupleer, from Latin supplere 'fill up', from sub- 'from below' + plere 'fill'. The early sense of the noun was 'assistance, relief' (chiefly a Scots use).

Words that rhyme with supply

ally, Altai, apply, assai, awry, ay, aye, Baha'i, belie, bi, Bligh, buy, by, bye, bye-bye, chi, Chiangmai, Ciskei, comply, cry, Cy, Dai, defy, deny, Di, die, do-or-die, dry, Dubai, dye, espy, eye, fie, fly, forbye, fry, Frye, goodbye (US goodby), guy, hereby, hi, hie, high, I, imply, I-spy, July, kai, lie, lye, Mackay, misapply, my, nearby, nigh, Nye, outfly, passer-by, phi, pi, pie, ply, pry, psi, Qinghai, rai, rely, rocaille, rye, scry, serai, shanghai, shy, sigh, sky, Skye, sky-high, sly, spin-dry, spry, spy, sty, Sukhotai, Tai, Thai, thereby, thigh, thy, tie, Transkei, try, tumble-dry, underlie, Versailles, Vi, vie, whereby, why, wry, Wye, xi, Xingtai, Yantai
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There are 2 main definitions of supply in English:

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supply 2

Pronunciation: /ˈsəp(ə)lē/


Variant spelling of supplely (see supple).
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