Definition of support in English:

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Pronunciation: /səˈpôrt/


[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, brace, shore up, underpin, buttress, reinforce, undergird
1.1Produce 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.
1.2Be capable of fulfilling (a role) adequately: tutors gain practical experience that helps them support their tutoring role
1.3Endure; tolerate: at work during the day I could support the grief
More example sentences
  • Grief can be supported and facilitated, and depression can be treated.
2Give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act: the government gives $2.5 billion a year to support the activities of the voluntary sector
More example sentences
  • 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;
informal bankroll
back, champion, help, assist, aid, abet, favor, encourage;
vote for, stand behind, defend;
sponsor, second, promote, endorse, sanction
2.1Provide with a home and the necessities of life: my main concern was to support my family
More example sentences
  • 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, maintain, sustain, keep, take care of, look after
2.2Give approval, comfort, or encouragement to: I like to visit her to support her the proposal was supported by many delegates
More example sentences
  • 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.
comfort, encourage, sustain, buoy up, hearten, fortify, console, solace, reassure
informal buck up
advocate, promote, champion, back, espouse, be in favor of, recommend, defend, subscribe to
2.3Suggest the truth of; corroborate: the studies support our findings
More example sentences
  • This study supports several researchers who suggest using the neutral zone and no-touch technique to reduce the risk of injuries during surgical procedures.
  • The data presented in the study supports this suggestion.
  • These suggestions are indirectly supported by spinal microdialysis study.
substantiate, back up, bear out, corroborate, confirm, attest to, verify, prove, validate, authenticate, endorse, ratify, undergird
2.4Be actively interested in and concerned for the success of (a particular sports team).
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.
2.5 (as adjective supporting) (Of an actor or a role) important in a play or film but subordinate to the leading parts.
Example sentences
  • 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?
2.6(Of a pop or rock group or performer) function as a secondary act to (another) at a concert.
3 Computing (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
More example sentences
  • 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.


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, upright, crutch, plinth, brace, buttress;
base, substructure, foundation, underpinning
1.1The action or state of bearing the weight of something or someone or of being so 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.
2Material assistance: he urged that military support be sent to protect humanitarian convoys [as modifier]: support staff
More example sentences
  • She said positions at risk were mainly those of support staff and teaching assistants.
  • As a result, it is short of sufficient financial and material support to develop any further.
  • They have no back up system, no organisation to which they can turn to for support and financial assistance.
maintenance, keep, sustenance, subsistence;
contributions, backing, donations, money, subsidy, funding, funds, finance, capital
backing, help, assistance, aid, endorsement, approval;
votes, patronage
advocacy, backing, promotion, championship, espousal, defense, recommendation
2.1Comfort and emotional help offered to someone in distress: she’s been through a bad time and needs our support
More example sentences
  • Finally, I have contacted colleagues who were only too happy to give their support for this letter.
  • The council said it had received 444 objections and seven letters of support for the application.
  • He needs to do so to affirm popular and Congressional support for an arduous campaign.
encouragement, friendship, strength, consolation, solace, succor, relief
comfort, help, assistance, tower of strength, prop, mainstay
2.2Approval and encouragement: the policies of reform enjoy widespread support
More example sentences
  • Health professionals can help men identify these supports and encourage them to reach out, suggests Courtenay.
  • It is evident that the father has no substantial supports.
  • We are learning something about the range of supports offered to fathers in Early Head Start programs.
2.3A secondary act at a pop or rock concert.
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.
2.4Technical help given to the user of a computer or other product.
Example sentences
  • In the area of technical helpdesk support, Fraser is also looking to win up to four new clients each year.
  • It will be responsible for desktops, mail systems, network, intranet and website support.
  • My main objection regarding Microsoft's whole licensing scheme is the lack of decent home user support.


in support of

Giving assistance to: air operations in support of the land forces
More example sentences
  • Its role was to provide simple communications centres in the field in support of air operations.
  • The helicopter had been flying in support of military operations in al-Anbar province.
  • It happened as the chopper was flying in support of security operations outside of the city of Ramadi.
1.1Showing approval of: the paper printed many letters in support of the government
More example sentences
  • Feel free to send us letters and e-mails in support of the cause and we'll make sure we forward them to the Hall.
  • So far, she has received over 3,100 letters in support of her campaign and has publicised it widely on radio and through the press.
  • All council workers will also be written to, asking them to write individual letters to their MPs in support of Metrolink.
1.2Attempting to promote or obtain: a strike in support of an 8.5% pay raise
More example sentences
  • Local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland voted to strike in support of a six-per-cent pay claim.
  • They have been barred from taking strike action in support of political, social and environmental causes.
  • The strike and protests are in support of a wage increase and the ongoing stalemate over fresh presidential elections.



Pronunciation: /səˌpôrtəˈbilitē/
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.


Pronunciation: /səˈpôrdəb(ə)l/
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.


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

Words that rhyme with support

abort, apport, assort, athwart, aught, besought, bethought, bort, bought, brought, caught, cavort, comport, consort, contort, Cort, court, distraught, escort, exhort, export, extort, fort, fought, fraught, import, methought, misreport, mort, naught, nought, Oort, ought, outfought, port, Porte, purport, quart, rort, short, snort, sort, sought, sport, swart, taught, taut, thought, thwart, tort, transport, wart, wrought

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sup·port

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