from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To bear the weight of, especially from below; keep from falling, sinking, or slipping.
  • transitive verb To bear or hold up (an amount of weight).
  • transitive verb To keep from weakening or failing; give confidence or comfort to.
  • transitive verb To keep from falling in value, as by government purchases.
  • transitive verb To provide for or maintain by supplying with money or necessities.
  • transitive verb To furnish corroborating evidence for.
  • transitive verb To aid the cause, policy, or interests of.
  • transitive verb To argue in favor of; advocate.
  • transitive verb To have an enthusiastic interest in (a sports team).
  • transitive verb To endure; tolerate.
  • transitive verb To act in a secondary or subordinate role to (a leading performer).
  • transitive verb To offer help or advice regarding (a product or service).
  • transitive verb Computers To be compatible with (a program).
  • noun The act of supporting.
  • noun The state of being supported.
  • noun One that supports.
  • noun The provision of money or the necessities of life.
  • noun Help or advice offered to those encountering difficulties with a product or service.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun plural In the cloth trade, blocking-boards or wrapping-boards.
  • noun The act or operation of supporting, upholding, sustaining, or keeping from falling; sustaining power or effect.
  • noun That which upholds, sustains, or keeps from falling; that, on which another thing is placed or rests; a prop, pillar, base, or basis; a foundation of any kind.
  • noun That which maintains life; subsistence; sustenance.
  • noun One who or that which maintains a person or family; means of subsistence or livelihood: as, fishing is their support; he is the only support of his mother.
  • noun The act of upholding, maintaining, assisting, forwarding, etc.; countenance; advocacy: as, to speak in support of a measure.
  • noun The keeping up or sustaining of anything without suffering it to fail, decline, be exhausted, or come to an end: as, the support of life or strength; the support of credit.
  • noun That which upholds or relieves; aid; help; succor; relief; encouragement.
  • noun Theat., an actor or actress who plays a subordinate or minor part with a star; also, the whole company collectively as supporting the principal actors.
  • noun pl. Milit., the second line in a battle, either in the attack or in the defense.
  • noun In music, an accompaniment; also, a subordinate; part.
  • noun The reasonable supply of the necessaries and comforts of life: as, intoxication of a husband injuring the wife's rights of support.
  • noun Synonyms Stay, strut, brace, shore.
  • noun Maintenance, etc. See living.
  • noun Encouragement, patronage, comfort.
  • To bear; prop up; bear the weight of; uphold; sustain; keep from falling or sinking.
  • To endure without being overcome; bear; undergo; also, to tolerate.
  • To uphold by aid, encouragement, or countenance; keep from shrinking, sinking, failing, or fainting: as, to support the courage or spirits.
  • Theat.: To represent in acting on or as on the stage; keep up; act: as, to support the part assigned.
  • To act with, accompany, or second a leading actor or actress.
  • In music, to perform an accompaniment or subordinate part to.
  • To keep up; carry on; maintain: as, to support a contest.
  • To supply funds or means for: as, to support the expenses of government; maintain with the necessary means of living; furnish with a livelihood: as, to support a family.
  • To keep from failing or fainting by means of food; sustain: as, to support life; to support the strength by nourishment.
  • To keep up in reputation; maintain: as, to support a good character; sustain; substantiate; verify: as, the testimony fails to support the charges.
  • To assist in general; help; second; further; forward: as, to support a friend, a party, or a policy; specifically, military, to aid by being in line and ready to take part with in attack or defense: as, the regiment supported a battery.
  • To vindicate; defend successfully: as, to support a verdict or judgment.
  • To accompany or attend as an honorary coadjutor or aid; act as the aid or attendant of: as, the chairman was supported by …


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English supporten, from Old French supporter, from Latin supportāre, to carry : sub-, from below; see sub– + portāre, to carry; see per- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French supporter. Displaced Old English wreðian ("to support, sustain, uphold").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word support.


  • Approximately one in every two (52%) adults say they would support increasing NASA‚Äôs budget from¬† one-sixth of one percent to one percent of the federal budget (14% strongly support and 38% support¬† this).

    NASA Watch: Exploration: June 2008 Archives 2008

  • Approximately one in every two (52%) adults say they would support increasing NASA‚Äôs budget from¬† one-sixth of one percent to one percent of the federal budget (14% strongly support and 38% support¬† this).

    NASA Watch: Keith Cowing: June 2008 Archives 2008

  • Then one after another, amid rising enthusiasm; Ukrainean Social Democracy, support; Lithuanian Social Democracy, support; Populist Socialists, support; Polish Social Democracy, support; Polish Socialists support—but would prefer a Socialist coalition; Lettish Social Democracy, support….

    Chapter 5. Plunging Ahead 1922

  • Here, they're all playing nicely at moguldom and at mentoring, professing a commitment to nurturing talent and using the term "support system" in a way that splits the difference between the jargon of self-help and the language of networking.

    Slate Magazine Troy Patterson 2011

  • This is a smart move on his part to gain support from the people, and thats a good quality a President should have.

    House Dems reach deal on heath care bill 2009

  • Our file of articles in support is building rapidly.

    Up Hill Down Dale « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG Inspector Gadget 2009

  • Obama and Democratic leaders seek a solution that could win support from a Republican or two, and more importantly, help bridge a divide among Democrats on the public option issue.

    Obama quietly seeking health-care deal with key Republican 2009

  • She benefited from $8 million in support from the National Republican Senatorial Committee and avoided the major gaffes and scandals that hurt Ms. Whitman.

    With Democrats Ascendant, California Votes Contrarian Stu Woo 2010

  • I just hope that this resolution weaves its way throughout the local Districts, and can gain support from the County.

    Only One Dealmaker « PubliCola 2010

  • He also declared victory for the terrorists when he said "the war is lost" to gain support from the liberal traitors.

    Biden visits Iraq over Fourth of July weekend 2009


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • well, i like this site because it's easy to understand the word and example of the word in sentence.

    February 29, 2012