supply Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “supply” in the English Dictionary

"supply" in British English

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supplyverb [T]

uk   /səˈplaɪ/  us   /səˈplaɪ/
B2 to provide something that is wanted or needed, often in large quantities and over a long period of time: Electrical power is supplied by underground cables. Three people have been arrested for supplying arms to the terrorists. The company has supplied the royal family (= provided them with something they need) for years. At the beginning of termthe semester, students are supplied with a list of books that they are expected to read.

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supplynoun

uk   /səˈplaɪ/  us   /səˈplaɪ/
[C or U] an amount of something that is available for use: Whenever she goes out with her baby, she always takes a large supply of baby food with her. In the capital, demand for cheap housing far outstrips supply (= what is provided).
supplies B2 [plural]
food or other things necessary for living: The refugees are urgently in need of food and medical supplies.
B2 an amount of something available: Extensive mining has reduced the supplies of coal in the area.
the gas, electricity, etc. supply
the system used for supplying gas, electricity, etc. to people: Someone has turned off the electricity supply.
in short supply
If something is in short supply, there is little of it available: Strawberries are in short supply this summer.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of supply from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"supply" in American English

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supplyverb [T]

 us   /səˈplɑɪ/
to provide something that is needed or wanted, or to provide someone with what the person needs or wants: Fran Gebus supplied the recipe for these muffins. The dam supplies San Francisco with water and power.

supplynoun [C/U]

 us   /səˈplɑɪ/
an amount of something that is available for use: [U] In New York, demand for housing far outstrips supply. [C] Medical supplies were desperately needed in the war zone.
(Definition of supply from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"supply" in Business English

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supplyverb [T]

uk   us   /səˈplaɪ/
PRODUCTION, COMMERCE to provide materials, or goods and services: supply sth to sb/sth They supply parts to the automotive industry. Electrical power is supplied by underground cables. We supply systems for clients on the Pacific rim.
to give something that is needed to someone or something: supply sb/sth with sth All employees are supplied with safety equipment. They were not able to supply us with the relevant data.

supplynoun

uk   us   /səˈplaɪ/ (plural supplies)
[C or U] an amount of something that is available for use: a supply of sth The world's supply of agricultural land is shrinking fast. We do not have an unlimited supply of money available for this project. Extensive mining has reduced the supplies of coal in the area. a limited/unlimited supply to ensure/boost/restrict the supply Across the economy, it seems that demand for viable CEO candidates exceeds supply.
Compare
[U] the act of providing something: They have been asked to tender for the supply of cleaning materials to all the company's offices.
gas/electricity/water supply
the system used for supplying gas, electricity, etc. to customers: The energy storage system tops up the peak electricity supply.
supplies [plural]
food or other things that are necessary for living: The refugees are urgently in need of food and medical supplies.
things that are necessary for a particular purpose: office supplies
(Definition of supply from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“supply” in British English

“supply” in American English

“supply” in Business English

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