I. transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French supporter, from Late Latin supportare, from Latin, to transport, from sub- + portare to carry — more at fare
Date: 14th century
1. to endure bravely or quietly ; bear
(1) to promote the interests or cause of
(2) to uphold or defend as valid or right ; advocate <supports fair play> (3) to argue or vote for <supported the motion to lower taxes> b. (1) assist, help <bombers supported the ground troops> (2) to act with (a star actor) (3) to bid in bridge so as to show support for c. to provide with substantiation ; corroborate <support an alibi> 3. a. to pay the costs of ; maintain <support a family> b. to provide a basis for the existence or subsistence of <the island could probably support three — A. B. C. Whipple> <support a habit> 4. a. to hold up or serve as a foundation or prop for b. to maintain (a price) at a desired level by purchases or loans; also to maintain the price of by purchases or loans 5. to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage ; comfort 6. to keep (something) going • supportability noun • supportable adjective • supportive adjective • supportiveness noun Synonyms: support, uphold, advocate, back, champion mean to favor actively one that meets opposition. support is least explicit about the nature of the assistance given <supports waterfront development>. uphold implies extended support given to something attacked <upheld the legitimacy of the military action>. advocate stresses urging or pleading <advocated prison reform>. back suggests supporting by lending assistance to one failing or falling <refusing to back the call for sanctions>. champion suggests publicly defending one unjustly attacked or too weak to advocate his or her own cause <championed the rights of children>. II. noun Date: 14th century 1. a. the act or process of supporting ; the condition of being supported b. assistance provided by a company to users of its products <customer support> 2. one that supports — often used attributively <a support staff> 3. sufficient strength in a suit bid by one's partner in bridge to justify raising the suit
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.