1 [suh-plahy]
verb (used with object), supplied, supplying.
to furnish or provide (a person, establishment, place, etc.) with what is lacking or requisite: to supply someone clothing; to supply a community with electricity.
to furnish or provide (something wanting or requisite): to supply electricity to a community.
to make up, compensate for, or satisfy (a deficiency, loss, need, etc.): The TVA supplied the need for cheap electricity.
to fill or occupy as a substitute, as a vacancy, a pulpit, etc.: During the summer local clergymen will supply the pulpit.
verb (used without object), supplied, supplying.
to fill the place of another, especially the pulpit of a church, temporarily or as a substitute: Who will supply until the new minister arrives?
noun, plural supplies.
the act of supplying, furnishing, providing, satisfying, etc.: to begin the supply of household help.
something that is supplied: The storm cut off our water supply.
a quantity of something on hand or available, as for use; a stock or store: Did you see our new supply of shirts?
Usually, supplies. a provision, stock, or store of food or other things necessary for maintenance: to lay in supplies for the winter.
Economics. the quantity of a commodity that is in the market and available for purchase or that is available for purchase at a particular price.
supplies, Military.
all items necessary for the equipment, maintenance, and operation of a military command, including food, clothing, arms, ammunition, fuel, materials, and machinery.
procurement, distribution, maintenance, and salvage of supplies.
a person who fills a vacancy or takes the place of another, especially temporarily.
supplies, Obsolete, reinforcements.
Obsolete, aid.

1325–75; (v.) Middle English sup(p)lien < Middle French souplier, variant of soupleerLatin supplēre to fill up, equivalent to sup- sup- + plēre to fill (see full1); (noun) late Middle English: aid, succor, derivative of the v.

supplier, noun
unsupplied, adjective
well-supplied, adjective Unabridged


2 [suhp-lee]
in a supple manner or way; supplely.

1525–35; supple + -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
supply1 (səˈplaɪ)
vb (often foll by with) , -plies, -plying, -plied
1.  to furnish with something that is required: to supply the community with good government
2.  (tr; often foll by to or for) to make available or provide (something that is desired or lacking): to supply books to the library
3.  (tr) to provide for adequately; make good; satisfy: who will supply their needs?
4.  to serve as a substitute, usually temporary, in (another's position, etc): there are no clergymen to supply the pulpit
5.  (Brit) (tr) to fill (a vacancy, position, etc)
n , -plies, -plying, -plied, -plies
6.  a.  the act of providing or something that is provided
 b.  (as modifier): a supply dump
7.  (often plural) an amount available for use; stock
8.  (plural) food, equipment, etc, needed for a campaign or trip
9.  economics
 a.  willingness and ability to offer goods and services for sale
 b.  Compare demand the amount of a commodity that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at a specified price
10.  military
 a.  the management and disposal of food and equipment
 b.  (as modifier): supply routes
11.  (often plural) a grant of money voted by a legislature for government expenses, esp those not covered by other revenues
12.  (in Parliament and similar legislatures) the money voted annually for the expenses of the civil service and armed forces
13.  a.  a person who acts as a temporary substitute
 b.  (as modifier): a supply vicar
14.  a source of electrical energy, gas, etc
15.  obsolete aid or assistance
[C14: from Old French souppleier, from Latin supplēre to complete, from sub- up + plēre to fill]

supply or supplely2 (ˈsʌplɪ, ˈsʌpəlɪ)
in a supple manner
supplely or supplely2

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "to help, support, maintain," also "fill up, make up for," from O.Fr. supplier "fill up, make full," from L. supplere "fill up, complete," from sub "up from below" + plere "to fill" (see plenary). The meaning "furnish, provide" first recorded c.1520.

1423, "assistance, relief," from supply (v.). Meaning "quantity or amount of something provided" is attested from 1607. In the political economy sense (corollary of demand) it dates from 1776. Supply-side in ref. to economic policy is attested from 1976. Supplies "provisions" is from c.1650.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

supply definition

The amount of any given commodity available for sale at a given time.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see in short supply.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Policymakers need to figure out how to supply water without degrading the natural ecosystems that provide it.
In this way, the world's endless supply of problems becomes a valuable resource.
The heart of the system is a cleaning table complete with sink and cold-water
Two electrical receptacles, located on the cooking side of the counter, supply
  power for small appliances or a rotisserie.
Idioms & Phrases
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