Definition of “support” - English Dictionary

“support” in British English

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supportverb [ T ]

uk /səˈpɔːt/ us /səˈpɔːrt/

support verb [ T ] (ENCOURAGE)

B2 to agree with and give encouragement to someone or something because you want him, her, or it to succeed:

My father supported the LabourDemocratic Party all his life.
The majority of people in the town strongly support the plans to build a new school.
I think it's important to support local businesses by buying locally.

B1 mainly UK US usually root for If you support a sports team or a sports player, you want them to win, and might show it by going to watch them play:

Which team do you support?

More examples

  • I don't support the death penalty, but if people are to be executed, it should be done humanely.
  • The mass of the people support the government's reforms.
  • All those who support this proposal say "Aye".
  • Although I support the project in public, my private opinion is that it will fail.
  • Her speech failed to sway her colleagues into supporting the plan.

support verb [ T ] (HELP)

B1 to help someone emotionally or in a practical way:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a group which supports people who are trying to stop drinking too much alcohol.
My family has always supported me in whatever I've wanted to do.

More examples

  • Judging by what he said, I think it's very unlikely that he'll be able to support your application.
  • I thought he wasn't going to support me, but I misjudged him.
  • Many Americans felt it was their patriotic duty to buy bonds to support the war effort.
  • I felt a sense of betrayal when my friends refused to support me.
  • The organization has peddled the myth that they are supporting the local population.

support verb [ T ] (PROVIDE)

B1 to give a person the money they need in order to buy food and clothes and pay for somewhere to live:

He has a wife and four children to support.

B2 If you support an activity or a habit, you provide the money needed to pay for it:

The drug company is supporting cancer research.
I don't know how they manage to support their expensive lifestyle.
Some drug addicts turn to crime in order to support their habit.

to provide the right conditions, such as enough food and water, for life:

The land is so poor here that it cannot support any crops.

More examples

  • The great and the good are calling on the government to support the arts.
  • She needs a pretty high income to support her lifestyle.
  • My starting salary as a newly qualified teacher wasn't enough to support a family.
  • Charities depend on people supporting their activities.
  • This play is supported by a grant from the local arts council.

support verb [ T ] (STOP FROM FALLING)

C2 to hold something firmly or carry its weight, especially from below to stop it from falling:

The church dome is supported by/on marble pillars.
When babies first learn to stand, they hold on to something to support themselves (= to stop themselves from falling).
My ankle is weak, so I always put a bandage on it to support it when I play tennis.
figurative The Bank of England has taken measures to support the pound (= to stop it from being reduced in value).

More examples

  • The frame needs to be strong enough to support the engine assembly .
  • Use bamboo canes to support tomato plants.
  • The stakes are pushed or hammered into the ground and can be used for marking an area, supporting a plant or forming part of a fence.
  • Carefully tighten the clamp until it firmly supports the pipette in a vertical position.
  • A row of reinforced concrete pillars supports the bridge.

supportnoun

uk /səˈpɔːt/ us /səˈpɔːrt/

support noun (ENCOURAGEMENT)

B2 [ U ] agreement with and encouragement for an idea, group, or person:

Environmental groups are fast gaining support among young people.
We've succeeded in drumming up a lot of local support for our attempt to stop the superstore being built.
I signed a petition in support of the campaign to end the marketing of baby formula in developing countries.

More examples

  • The Labour Party has lost a lot of support among the working class.
  • In the recent elections, the National Party was given a lot of support from the coloured population.
  • The postal workers have come out in support of their pay claim.
  • The government's concentration on tax reduction has won them a lot of support.
  • There is a growing current of support for green issues among voters.

support noun (HELP)

B1 [ C or U ] emotional or practical help:

Liz gave me a lot of support when I lost my job.
You've been a great support to my mum in this difficult time.

More examples

  • Our success is contingent upon your support.
  • The president's support is critical (to this project).
  • Can I bank on your support?
  • There was a quaver in her voice as she thanked her staff for all their support.
  • I'm reckoning on your continued support.

support noun (MONEY)

B2 [ U ] the money someone needs in order to buy food and clothes and pay for somewhere to live:

He is dependent on his father for support .

More examples

  • The annual cost of income support to unmarried mothers amounted to £700 million in that year.
  • Farmers are eligible for government support if they let a certain amount of land lie fallow.
  • Will financial support for the theatre project be forthcoming?
  • Is there any hope of getting financial support for the project?
  • They are young inexperienced parents and need support.

support noun (HOLDING)

[ C or U ] something that holds something firmly or carries its weight, especially from below to stop it from falling:

The floor is held up by wooden supports.
I've hurt my wrist, so I've bandaged it to give it some support.

[ C ] a device worn to hold part of the body, especially a weak part, firmly in position:

Jim always wears a knee support when he goes running.

More examples

  • Because of an unusually strong current, the bridge's central support gave way, tipping a coach into the river.
  • When restoring the building, the first priority was to underpin the exterior walls by adding wooden supports along the foundations.
  • The mattress has hundreds of small springs to provide extra support for the back.
  • Always provide support for the baby's head.
  • The shelf was held in place by two brick supports.

(Definition of “support” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“support” in American English

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supportverb [ T ]

us /səˈpɔrt, -ˈpoʊrt/

support verb [ T ] (ENCOURAGE)

to give encouragement and approval to someone or something because you want the person or thing to succeed:

The president strongly supported Egypt’s role in the negotiations.

support verb [ T ] (HELP)

to help someone or something in an emotional or practical way:

My family always supported me in whatever I wanted to do.

support verb [ T ] (PROVIDE)

to provide someone with money or physical things that are needed:

She has to work at two jobs to support her family.

support verb [ T ] (PROVE)

to show or seem to prove something to be true:

New research supports the theory.

support verb [ T ] (STOP FROM FALLING)

to hold something firmly or bear its weight, esp. from below, to stop it from falling:

The pole is supported by wires.

supportnoun

us /səˈpɔrt, -ˈpoʊrt/

support noun (HELP)

[ U ] emotional or practical help:

I got a lot of support from my friends and colleagues.

support noun (PROVIDING MONEY)

[ U ] money or physical things that are provided to someone who needs them:

The government promised financial support to the areas affected by the flooding.

support noun (PROOF)

[ U ] information or facts that prove something to be true; proof:

He produced charts and graphs in support of his argument.

support noun (ENCOURAGEMENT)

[ U ] approval and encouragement given to someone or something:

The senator voiced his support for making health care available to all.

support noun (HOLDING THINGS UP)

[ C/U ] something that holds something firmly or bears its weight, to stop it from falling:

[ C ] The floor is held up by wooden supports.
[ U ] You may have to use crutches for support while your ankle heals.

(Definition of “support” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“support” in Business English

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supportverb [ T ]

uk /səˈpɔːt/ us

to show that you agree with someone or something and want to encourage them:

If your boss raises any objections, I'm willing to support you.
I don't support the idea of outsourcing the work.

to help someone, or offer help with something, when this is needed:

Unfortunately the company can no longer support this software.
We offer insight into how to build a service strategy to support your growth objectives.
We'll do all we can to support our customers during this difficult period.

to give a person the money they need in order to buy food and clothes and pay for somewhere to live:

My starting salary wasn't enough to support a family.

if you support an activity, you provide money for it:

The drug company is supporting cancer research.
I don't know how they manage to support their expensive lifestyle.
We are calling on the Government to support the arts.

to hold something firmly or carry its weight, especially from below to stop it from falling:

The frame needs to be strong enough to support the engine assembly.

to stop something from falling in value, or becoming less strong:

The Bank of England has taken measures to support the pound.

to help to show that something is true:

These figures support my argument.
You can't make a statement like that without any supporting documentation.

supportnoun [ U ]

uk /səˈpɔːt/ us

agreement with and encouragement for an idea, group, or person:

support for sb/sth There was little support for the proposal among the Board members present.
in support of sth The postal workers have come out on strike in support of their pay claim.
Environmental groups are fast gaining support among young people.
The new legislation received widespread support.

emotional or practical help:

We are going to need a lot of support if we want to get this job done on time.
support for sb/sth Is there any hope of getting financial support for the project?

the act of stopping something falling in value or becoming less strong:

support for sth The Bank has promised support for the ailing currency.

something that helps to show that something is true:

support for sth These new facts gave me some support for my interpretation.
in support of sth Do you have any data in support of your theory?

(Definition of “support” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)