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support Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the activity of providing for or maintaining by supplying with money or necessities
    • his support kept the family together
    • they gave him emotional support during difficult times
  2. noun aiding the cause or policy or interests of
    • the president no longer has the support of his own party
    • they developed a scheme of mutual support
  3. noun something providing immaterial assistance to a person or cause or interest
    • the policy found little public support
    • his faith was all the support he needed
    • the team enjoyed the support of their fans
  4. noun a military operation (often involving new supplies of men and materiel) to strengthen a military force or aid in the performance of its mission
    reenforcement; reinforcement.
    • they called for artillery support
  5. noun documentary validation
    • his documentation of the results was excellent
    • the strongest support for this view is the work of Jones
  6. noun the financial means whereby one lives
    living; livelihood; bread and butter; sustenance; keep.
    • each child was expected to pay for their keep
    • he applied to the state for support
    • he could no longer earn his own livelihood
  7. noun supporting structure that holds up or provides a foundation
    • the statue stood on a marble support
  8. noun the act of bearing the weight of or strengthening
    • he leaned against the wall for support
  9. noun a musical part (vocal or instrumental) that supports or provides background for other musical parts
    backup; accompaniment; musical accompaniment.
  10. noun any device that bears the weight of another thing
    • there was no place to attach supports for a shelf
  11. noun financial resources provided to make some project possible
    backing; funding; financial support; financial backing.
    • the foundation provided support for the experiment
  12. verb give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to
    back up.
    • She supported him during the illness
    • Her children always backed her up
  13. verb support materially or financially
    • he does not support his natural children
    • The scholarship supported me when I was in college
  14. verb be behind; approve of
    indorse; plunk for; plump for; back; endorse.
    • He plumped for the Labor Party
    • I backed Kennedy in 1960
  15. verb be the physical support of; carry the weight of
    hold; sustain; hold up.
    • The beam holds up the roof
    • He supported me with one hand while I balanced on the beam
    • What's holding that mirror?
  16. verb establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
    affirm; substantiate; confirm; corroborate; sustain.
    • his story confirmed my doubts
    • The evidence supports the defendant
  17. verb adopt as a belief
    • I subscribe to your view on abortion
  18. verb support with evidence or authority or make more certain or confirm
    corroborate; bear out; underpin.
    • The stories and claims were born out by the evidence
  19. verb argue or speak in defense of
    defend; fend for.
    • She supported the motion to strike
  20. verb play a subordinate role to (another performer)
    • Olivier supported Gielgud beautifully in the second act
  21. verb be a regular customer or client of
    patronage; patronise; keep going; patronize.
    • We patronize this store
    • Our sponsor kept our art studio going for as long as he could
  22. verb put up with something or somebody unpleasant
    stomach; brook; put up; tolerate; bear; abide; endure; stick out; suffer; digest; stand.
    • I cannot bear his constant criticism
    • The new secretary had to endure a lot of unprofessional remarks
    • he learned to tolerate the heat
    • She stuck out two years in a miserable marriage

Sup*port" transitive verb
F. supporter, L. supportare to carry on, to convey, in LL., to support, sustain; sub under + portare to carry. See Port demeanor.
imperfect & past participle Supported; present participle & verbal noun Supporting
  1. To bear by being under; to keep from falling; to uphold; to sustain, in a literal or physical sense; to prop up; to bear the weight of; as, a pillar supports a structure; an abutment supports an arch; the trunk of a tree supports the branches.
  2. To endure without being overcome, exhausted, or changed in character; to sustain; as, to support pain, distress, or misfortunes.
    This fierce demeanor and his insolence The patience of a god could not support. Dryden.
  3. To keep from failing or sinking; to solace under affictive circumstances; to assist; to encourage; to defend; as, to support the courage or spirits.
  4. To assume and carry successfully, as the part of an actor; to represent or act; to sustain; as, to support the character of King Lear.
  5. To furnish with the means of sustenance or livelihood; to maintain; to provide for; as, to support a family; to support the ministers of the gospel.
  6. To carry on; to enable to continue; to maintain; as, to support a war or a contest; to support an argument or a debate.
  7. To verify; to make good; to substantiate; to establish; to sustain; as, the testimony is not sufficient to support the charges; the evidence will not support the statements or allegations.
    To urge such arguments, as though they were sufficient to support and demonstrate a whole scheme of moral philosophy. J. Edwards.
  8. To vindicate; to maintain; to defend successfully; as, to be able to support one's own cause.
  9. To uphold by aid or countenance; to aid; to help; to back up; as, to support a friend or a party; to support the present administration.
    Wherefore, bold pleasant, Darest thou support a published traitor? Shak.
  10. A attend as an honorary assistant; as, a chairman supported by a vice chairman; O'Connell left the prison, supported by his two sons. Syn. -- To maintain; endure; verify; substantiate; countenance; patronize; help; back; second; succor; relieve; uphold; encourage; favor; nurture; nourish; cherish; shield; defend; protect; stay; assist; forward.
Sup*port" noun
  1. The act, state, or operation of supporting, upholding, or sustaining.
  2. That which upholds, sustains, or keeps from falling, as a prop, a pillar, or a foundation of any kind.
  3. That which maintains or preserves from being overcome, falling, yielding, sinking, giving way, or the like; subsistence; maintenance; assistance; reënforcement; as, he gave his family a good support, the support of national credit; the assaulting column had the support of a battery. Syn. -- Stay; prop; maintenance; subsistence; assistance; favor; countenance; encouragement; patronage; aid; help; succor; nutriment; sustenance; food.

Webster 1913