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tr.v. sup·port·ed, sup·port·ing, sup·ports
a. To bear the weight of, especially from below; keep from falling, sinking, or slipping: Pillars support the roof.
b. To bear or hold up (an amount of weight): The bridge supports 10 tons.
a. To keep from weakening or failing; give confidence or comfort to: The letter supported him in his grief.
b. To keep from falling in value, as by government purchases: a program to support the price of wheat.
3. To provide for or maintain by supplying with money or necessities: The homeless shelter is supported solely by donations.
4. To furnish corroborating evidence for: New facts supported her story.
a. To aid the cause, policy, or interests of: supported her in her election campaign.
b. To argue in favor of; advocate: supported lower taxes.
c. To have an enthusiastic interest in (a sports team).
6. To endure; tolerate: "At supper there was such a conflux of company that I could scarcely support the tumult" (Samuel Johnson).
7. To act in a secondary or subordinate role to (a leading performer).
8. To offer help or advice regarding (a product or service).
9. Computers To be compatible with (a program): That operating system does not support most new applications.
a. The act of supporting: Our candidate needs your support.
b. The state of being supported: The candidate's support has been overwhelming.
2. One that supports: How many supports does the bridge have?
3. The provision of money or the necessities of life: child support.
4. Help or advice offered to those encountering difficulties with a product or service.

[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.]
Synonyms: support, uphold, back1, advocate, champion
These verbs mean to give aid or encouragement to a person or cause. Support is the most general: "the policy of Cromwell, who supported the growing power of France against the declining power of Spain" (William E.H. Lecky).
To uphold is to maintain or affirm, often in the face of a challenge or strong opposition: "The Declaration of Right upheld the principle of hereditary monarchy" (Edmund Burke).
Back suggests material or moral support intended to contribute to or assure success: The important medical research was backed by the federal government. Advocate implies verbal support, often in the form of pleading or arguing: Scientists advocate a reduction in saturated fats in the human diet. To champion is to fight for one that is under attack or is unable to act in its own behalf: "[newspaper writers who] championed the government and defended the system of taxation" (Samuel Chew and Richard D. Altick).


  • whatnot - A series of open shelves supported by two or four upright posts, for displaying knickknacks.
  • oriel - A large, upper-story bay window, usually supported by brackets or on corbels.
  • portico - Describes a covered walkway with a roof supported by columns and usually attached as a porch to a building.
  • felly, felloe - The felly or felloe is the exterior rim on a wheel or the section of rim supported by a spoke.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.supported - sustained or maintained by aid (as distinct from physical support); "a club entirely supported by membership dues"; "well-supported allegations"
unsupported - not sustained or maintained by nonmaterial aid; "unsupported accusations"
2.supported - held up or having the weight borne especially from below; "supported joints in a railroad track have ties directly under the rail ends"
unsupported - not held up or borne; "removal of the central post left the roof unsupported"
References in classic literature ?
Laurie dashed downstairs for water, while Meg and Hannah supported her, and Jo read aloud, in a frightened voice.
The firelight flickered on the hewn logs that supported the thatch overhead.
It was a large, double cottage, with a broad front veranda, whose round, fluted columns supported the sloping roof.
Against this stern and unyielding morality, supported as it was by such visible policy, there was no appeal.
He has a wife and three children; has supported them for five years.
The circumstances of many were very lamentable: However, being a hardy race of people, and accustomed to difficulties and necessities, they were wonderfully supported through all their sufferings, until the ensuing Fall, when we received abundance from the fertile soil.
Hepzibah's small and ancient table, supported on its slender and graceful legs, and covered with a cloth of the richest damask, looked worthy to be the scene and centre of one of the cheerfullest of parties.
Then, she was supported by an unnatural tension of the nerves, and by all the combative energy of her character, which enabled her to convert the scene into a kind of lurid triumph.
There was an effort in the way that, while her arms rested on the table, her hands with evident weariness supported her head; but at the moment I took this in I had already become aware that, in spite of my entrance, her attitude strangely persisted.
And that the Egyptians were a nation of mast-head standers, is an assertion based upon the general belief among archaeologists, that the first pyramids were founded for astronomical purposes: a theory singularly supported by the peculiar stair-like formation of all four sides of those edifices; whereby, with prodigious long upliftings of their legs, those old astronomers were wont to mount to the apex, and sing out for new stars; even as the look-outs of a modern ship sing out for a sail, or a whale just bearing in sight.
Erskine was on the other side; and he then supported it by saying, that though the gentleman had originally harpooned the lady, and had once had her fast, and only by reason of the great stress of her plunging viciousness, had as last abandoned her; yet abandon her he did, so that she became a loose-fish; and therefore when a subsequent gentleman re-harpooned her, the lady then became that subsequent gentleman's property, along with whatever harpoon might have been found sticking in her.
It employed thirty thousand men; it suppported directly two hundred and fifty thousand people in its neighborhood, and indirectly it supported half a million.

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