The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Support \Sup*port"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Supported; p. pr. &
vb. n. Supporting.] [F. supporter, L. supportare to carry
on, to convey, in LL., to support, sustain; sub under +
portare to carry. See Port demeanor.]
1. To bear by being under; to keep from falling; to uphold;
to sustain, in a literal or physical sense; to prop up; to
bear the weight of; as, a pillar supports a structure; an
abutment supports an arch; the trunk of a tree supports
2. To endure without being overcome, exhausted, or changed in
character; to sustain; as, to support pain, distress, or
This fierce demeanor and his insolence
The patience of a god could not support. --Dryden.
3. To keep from failing or sinking; to solace under affictive
circumstances; to assist; to encourage; to defend; as, to
support the courage or spirits.
4. To assume and carry successfully, as the part of an actor;
to represent or act; to sustain; as, to support the
character of King Lear.
5. To furnish with the means of sustenance or livelihood; to
maintain; to provide for; as, to support a family; to
support the ministers of the gospel.
6. To carry on; to enable to continue; to maintain; as, to
support a war or a contest; to support an argument or a
7. To verify; to make good; to substantiate; to establish; to
sustain; as, the testimony is not sufficient to support
the charges; the evidence will not support the statements
To urge such arguments, as though they were
sufficient to support and demonstrate a whole scheme
of moral philosophy. --J. Edwards.
8. To vindicate; to maintain; to defend successfully; as, to
be able to support one's own cause.
9. To uphold by aid or countenance; to aid; to help; to back
up; as, to support a friend or a party; to support the
Wherefore, bold pleasant,
Darest thou support a published traitor? --Shak.
10. A attend as an honorary assistant; as, a chairman
supported by a vice chairman; O'Connell left the prison,
supported by his two sons.
Support arms (Mil.), a command in the manual of arms in
responce to which the piece is held vertically at the
shoulder, with the hammer resting on the left forearm,
which is passed horizontally across the body in front;
also, the position assumed in response to this command.
Syn: To maintain; endure; verify; substantiate; countenance;
patronize; help; back; second; succor; relieve; uphold;
encourage; favor; nurture; nourish; cherish; shield;
defend; protect; stay; assist; forward.