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[n. suhp-luh-muh nt; v. suhp-luh-ment] /n. ˈsʌp lə mənt; v. ˈsʌp ləˌmɛnt/
something added to complete a thing, supply a deficiency, or reinforce or extend a whole.
a part added to a book, document, etc., to supply additional or later information, correct errors, or the like.
a part, usually of special character, issued as an additional feature of a newspaper or other periodical.
Geometry. the quantity by which an angle or an arc falls short of 180° or a semicircle.
verb (used with object)
to complete, add to, or extend by a supplement.
to form a supplement or addition to.
to supply (a deficiency).
Origin of supplement
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin supplēmentum that by which anything is made full, equivalent to sup- sup- + plē- (stem of plēre to fill; see full1) + -mentum -ment
Related forms
supplementer, noun
unsupplemented, adjective
well-supplemented, adjective
Can be confused
appendix, index, supplement (see synonym study at appendix)
complement, supplement (see synonym study at complement)
2. addendum, epilogue, postscript. See appendix. 5. See complement. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for supplement
  • supplement existing plants, such as the azaleas and ferns pictured above, with an edging of white cyclamen.
  • Some nutrition labels note whether a nondairy milk's calcium supplement is equal to the calcium in cow's milk.
  • If only scavenging, it makes sense herbivores can supplement their protein this way.
  • We planted a garden and fruit trees to supplement our diet.
  • For this reason multimedia can be a terrifically useful teaching supplement.
  • All supplement use was self-reported by the subjects.
  • The form of a dietary supplement purchased in a drug store or health food store is likely not the same form used in research.
  • If possible, supplement the quahog broth with fresh or bottled clam broth rather than stock or water.
  • They were eating seed that was still older to supplement their rations.
  • Occasionally a poet might supplement his or her income by giving a reading or lecture, but these occasions were rare.
British Dictionary definitions for supplement


noun (ˈsʌplɪmənt)
an addition designed to complete, make up for a deficiency, etc
a section appended to a publication to supply further information, correct errors, etc
a magazine or section inserted into a newspaper or periodical, such as one with colour photographs issued every week
  1. either of a pair of angles whose sum is 180°
  2. an arc of a circle that when added to another arc forms a semicircle Abbreviation sup, supp
verb (ˈsʌplɪˌmɛnt)
(transitive) to provide a supplement to, esp in order to remedy a deficiency
Derived Forms
supplementation, noun
supplementer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin supplēmentum, from supplēre to supply1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for supplement

late 14c., from Latin supplementum "something added to supply a deficiency," from supplere (see supply (v.)).


1829, from supplement (n.). Related: Supplemented; supplementing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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