[suh-pawrt, -pohrt]
verb (used with object)
to bear or hold up (a load, mass, structure, part, etc.); serve as a foundation for.
to sustain or withstand (weight, pressure, strain, etc.) without giving way; serve as a prop for.
to undergo or endure, especially with patience or submission; tolerate.
to sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction: They supported him throughout his ordeal.
to maintain (a person, family, establishment, institution, etc.) by supplying with things necessary to existence; provide for: to support a family.
to uphold (a person, cause, policy, etc.) by aid, countenance, one's vote, etc.; back; second.
to maintain or advocate (a theory, principle, etc.).
to corroborate (a statement, opinion, etc.): Leading doctors supported his testimony.
to act with or second (a lead performer); assist in performance: The star was supported by a talented newcomer.
the act or an instance of supporting.
the state of being supported.
something that serves as a foundation, prop, brace, or stay.
maintenance, as of a person or family, with necessaries, means, or funds: to pay for support of an orphan.
a person or thing that supports, as financially: The pension was his only support.
a person or thing that gives aid or assistance.
an actor, actress, or group performing with a lead performer.
the material, as canvas or wood, on which a picture is painted.
Stock Exchange. support level.
(of hosiery) made with elasticized fibers so as to fit snugly on the legs, thereby aiding circulation, relieving fatigue, etc.

1350–1400; (v.) Middle English supporten < Middle French supporter < Medieval Latin supportāre to endure (Latin: to convey), equivalent to sup- sup- + portāre to carry (see port5); (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.

supportingly, adverb
nonsupporting, adjective
presupport, noun, verb (used with object)
prosupport, adjective
quasi-supported, adjective
undersupport, noun
unsupported, adjective
unsupportedly, adverb
unsupporting, adjective
well-supported, adjective

1, 6. Support, maintain, sustain, uphold all mean to hold up and to preserve. To support is to hold up or add strength to, literally or figuratively: The columns support the roof. To maintain is to support so as to preserve intact: to maintain an attitude of defiance. To sustain a rather elevated word, suggests completeness and adequacy in supporting: The court sustained his claim. Uphold applies especially to supporting or backing another, as in a statement, opinion, or belief: to uphold the rights of a minority. 3. suffer, bear, stand, stomach. 13. sustenance, subsistence, keep. See living.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
support (səˈpɔːt)
1.  to carry the weight of
2.  to bear or withstand (pressure, weight, etc)
3.  to provide the necessities of life for (a family, person, etc)
4.  to tend to establish (a theory, statement, etc) by providing new facts; substantiate
5.  to speak in favour of (a motion)
6.  to give aid or courage to
7.  to give approval to (a cause, principle, etc); subscribe to: to support a political candidature
8.  to endure with forbearance: I will no longer support bad behaviour
9.  to give strength to; maintain: to support a business
10.  (tr) (in a concert) to perform earlier than (the main attraction)
11.  films, theatre
 a.  to play a subordinate role to
 b.  to accompany (the feature) in a film programme
12.  to act or perform (a role or character)
13.  the act of supporting or the condition of being supported
14.  a thing that bears the weight or part of the weight of a construction
15.  a person who or thing that furnishes aid
16.  the means of maintenance of a family, person, etc
17.  a band or entertainer not topping the bill
18.  the support an actor or group of actors playing subordinate roles
19.  med an appliance worn to ease the strain on an injured bodily structure or part
20.  the solid material on which a painting is executed, such as canvas
21.  See athletic support
[C14: from Old French supporter, from Latin supportāre to bring, from sub- up + portāre to carry]

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., from O.Fr. supporter, from L. supportare "convey, carry, bring up," from sub "up from under" + portare "to carry" (see port (1)). Related: Supported; supporting. The noun meaning "act of assistance, backing" is recorded from late 14c.; sense of "that which supports"
is from 1560s. Meaning "services which enable something to fulfil its function and remain in operation" (e.g. tech support) is from 1953.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

support sup·port (sə-pôrt')
v. sup·port·ed, sup·port·ing, sup·ports

  1. To bear the weight of, especially from below.

  2. To hold in position so as to keep from falling, sinking, or slipping.

  3. To be capable of bearing; withstand.

  4. To keep from weakening or failing; strengthen.

  5. To provide for or maintain, by supplying with money or necessities.

  6. To endure; tolerate.

  1. The act of supporting.

  2. The state of being supported.

  3. One that supports or maintains.

  4. Maintenance, as of a family, with the necessities of life.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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