supply (n.) Look up supply at
early 15c., "assistance, relief, act of supplying," from supply (v.). Meaning "that which is provided, quantity or amount of something provided" is attested from c. 1600. Meaning "person who temporarily takes the place of another" (especially a minister or preacher) is from 1580s. In the political economy sense (corollary of demand (n.)) it dates from 1776; supply-side (adj.) in reference to economic policy is attested from 1976; as a noun by 1922. Supplies "necessary provisions held for distribution and use" is from c. 1650.
supply (v.) Look up supply at
late 14c., "to help, support, maintain," also "fill up, make up for," from Old French soupplier "fill up, make full" (Modern French suppléer) and directly from Latin supplere "fill up, make full, complete," from sub "up from below" (see sub-) + plere "to fill" (see pleio-). The meaning "furnish, provide" first recorded 1520s. Related: Supplied; supplying.
support (v.) Look up support at
late 14c., "to aid," also "to hold up, prop up, put up with, tolerate," from Old French suporter "to bear, endure, sustain, support" (14c.), from Latin supportare "convey, carry, bring up, bring forward," from sub "up from under" (see sub-) + portare "to carry" (see port (n.1)). Related: Supported; supporting.
support (n.) Look up support at
late 14c., "act of assistance, backing, help, aid," from support (v.). Meaning "that which supports, one who provides assistance, protection, backing, etc." is early 15c. Sense of "bearing of expense" is mid-15c. Physical sense of "that which supports" is from 1560s. Meaning "services which enable something to fulfil its function and remain in operation" (as in tech support) is from 1953.
supporter (n.) Look up supporter at
early 15c., "adherent, partisan," agent noun from support (v.). Meaning "that which supports" is from 1590s.
supportive (adj.) Look up supportive at
1590s, from support (v.) + -ive. Called "rare" in OED 1st edition and Century Dictionary. Related: Supportively; supportiveness.
supposably (adv.) Look up supposably at
"as may be supposed," 1795, not originally American English, alteration of supposedly, or else from supposable (1680s), from suppose (v.) + -able.
suppose (v.) Look up suppose at
early 14c., "to assume as the basis of argument," from Old French suposer "to assume" (13c.), probably a replacement (influenced by Old French poser "put, place") of *suppondre, from Latin supponere "put or place under; to subordinate, make subject," from sub "under" (see sub-) + ponere "put, place" (past participle positus; see position (n.)). Meaning "to admit as possible, to believe to be true" is from 1520s.
supposed (adj.) Look up supposed at
"believed or thought to exist," 1580s, past participle adjective from suppose (v.); often with the -e- pronounced, to distinguish it from the passive past tense supposed, now common in the sense of "to have a duty or obligation" (1859).
supposedly (adv.) Look up supposedly at
"as may be supposed, presumably," 1610s, from supposed + -ly (2).
supposition (n.) Look up supposition at
early 15c., a term in logic, "assumption, hypothesis," from Medieval Latin suppositionem (nominative suppositio) "assumption, hypothesis, a supposition," noun of action from past participle stem of supponere (see suppose); influenced by Greek hypothesis. In classical Latin, "a putting under, substitution." Earlier in English in the same sense was supposal (late 14c.). Related: Suppositional; suppositionally.
supposititious (adj.) Look up supposititious at
"put by artifice in place of another," 1610s, from Latin supposititius, from suppositus, past participle of supponere (see suppose).
suppository (n.) Look up suppository at
late 14c., from Medieval Latin suppositorium "a suppository," noun use of neuter of Late Latin adjective suppositorius "placed underneath or up," from Latin suppositus, past participle of supponere "put or place under" (see suppose).
suppress (v.) Look up suppress at
late 14c. (implied in suppressing) "be burdensome;" 1520s as "put down by force or authority," from Latin suppressus, past participle of supprimere "press down, stop, hold back, check, stifle," from sub "down, under" (see sub-) + premere "push against" (see press (v.1)). Sense of "prevent or prohibit the circulation of" is from 1550s of publications; medical use from 1620s. Related: Suppressed; suppressing.
suppressant (n.) Look up suppressant at
"that which suppresses," 1922, from suppress + -ant.
suppression (n.) Look up suppression at
early 15c., from Latin suppressionem (nominative suppresio), noun of action from past participle stem of supprimere (see suppress).
supprise (n.) Look up supprise at
mid-15c., "injury, wrong, outrage," from supprise (v.) "overpower, subdue, put down; grieve, afflict" (c. 1400), also "take unawares, attack unexpectedly" (mid-15c.), from Anglo-French supprise, fem. past participle of supprendre, variant of sorprendre (see surprise (n.)). The noun later also had sense "oppression; surprise attack," but perhaps originally was an alternate form of surprise used in a specific sense.
suppurate (v.) Look up suppurate at
early 15c., from Latin suppuratus, past participle of suppurare "form or discharge pus" (see suppuration). Related: Suppurated; suppurating.
suppuration (n.) Look up suppuration at
early 15c., from French suppuration or directly from Latin suppurationem (nominative suppuratio), noun of action from past participle stem of suppurare "form or discharge pus," from sub "under" (see sub-) + stem of pus (see pus).
suppurative (adj.) Look up suppurative at
1540s, from medical Latin suppurativus, from suppurat-, stem of suppurare (see suppuration). As a noun from 1560s.
supra- Look up supra- at
word-forming element meaning "above, over, beyond, before," from Latin supra "above, over, before, beyond, on the upper side," in supera (parte), literally "on the upper (side)," from old fem. ablative singular of superus (adj.) "above," related to super "above, over" (see super-). In English interchangeable with, but somewhat more technical than, super-. Rare as a prefix in Latin, more common in Medieval Latin, in English chiefly scientific or technical.
supra-national (adj.) Look up supra-national at
also supranational, 1871 (T.H. Huxley), from supra- + national. Perhaps inspired by German supra-national (1865).
supra-nationalism (n.) Look up supra-nationalism at
also supranationalism, 1901, from supra-national + -ism.
supralapsarian (adj.) Look up supralapsarian at
1630s, with -ian + supralapsary, from supra- + Latin lapsus (see lapse (n.)). The opposite of infralapsarian.
supremacist (n.) Look up supremacist at
by 1948, originally with reference to racial beliefs and in most cases with white, from supremacy + -ist. Compare supremist. Related: Supremacism.
supremacy (n.) Look up supremacy at
1540s, from supreme + -acy, or from Latin supremitatem (nominative supremitas). Supremity in same sense is from 1530s.
supreme (adj.) Look up supreme at
1520s, from Middle French suprême (15c.) and directly from Latin supremus "highest," superlative of superus "situated above," from super "above" (see super-). Supreme Being "God" first attested 1690s; Supreme Court is from 1689.
supremist (n.) Look up supremist at
1640s, "one who holds supreme authority," from supreme + -ist.
sur- (1) Look up sur- at
word-forming element meaning "over, above, beyond, in addition," especially in words from Anglo-French and Old French, from Old French sour-, sor-, sur-, from Latin super (see super-).
sur- (2) Look up sur- at
assimilated form of sub- before -r-.
sura (n.) Look up sura at
chapter of the Quran, 1610s, from Arabic surah, literally "step, degree." Compare Hebrew shurah "row, line."
surcease (v.) Look up surcease at
early 15c., "cease from an action, desist," from Anglo-French surseser, Old French sursis, past participle of surseoir "to refrain, delay," from Latin supersedere "forbear, refrain or desist from" (see supersede). The English spelling with -c- was influenced by the unrelated verb cease. As a noun from 1580s.
surcharge (v.) Look up surcharge at
early 15c., "overcharge, charge too much expense," from Old French surcharger "to overload, overburden, overcharge" (12c.), from sur- "over" (see sur- (1)) + chargier "to load" (see charge (v.)). Meaning "make an extra charge on" is from 1885. The noun is also first attested early 15c. Related: Surcharged; surcharging.
surcingle (n.) Look up surcingle at
"girth for a horse" or other animal, late 14c., from Old French surcengle, from sur- "over" (see sur- (1)) + cengle "a girdle," from Latin cingulum "girth" (see cinch (n.)).
surcoat (n.) Look up surcoat at
"outer coat," early 14c., from Old French surcote "outer garment," from sur- "on, upon, over, above" (see sur- (1)) + cote (see coat (n.)).
surculation (n.) Look up surculation at
"act of pruning," 1660s, noun of action from past participle stem of Latin surculare "chear of shoots or twigs," from surculus "tender young shoot, twig, sprout, sucker."
surd (adj.) Look up surd at
1550s, "irrational" (of numbers), from Latin surdus "deaf, unheard, silent, dull; willfully deaf, inattentive," possibly related to susurrus "a muttering, whispering" (see susurration). The mathematical sense is from the use of Latin surdus to translate Arabic (jadhr) asamm "deaf (root)," itself apparently a loan-translation of Greek alogos, literally "speechless, without reason" (Euclid book x, Def.). In French, sourd remains the principal word for "deaf." As a noun from 1540s. Related: Surdity.
sure (adj.) Look up sure at
early 13c., "safe against attack, secure," later "firm, reliable" (c. 1300); "mentally certain, confident" (mid-14c.); "firm, strong, resolute" (c. 1400), from Old French seur, sur "safe, secure; undoubted, dependable, trustworthy" (12c.), from Latin securus "free from care, untroubled, heedless, safe" (see secure (adj.)). Pronunciation development is that of sugar (n.).

As an affirmative meaning "yes, certainly" it dates from 1803, from Middle English meanings "firmly established; having no doubt," and phrases like to be sure (1650s), sure enough (1540s), and for sure (1580s). The use as an adverb meaning "assuredly" goes back to early 14c. Sure-footed is from 1630s, literal and figurative; sure thing dates from 1836. In 16c.-17c., Suresby was an appellation for a person to be depended upon.
surefire (adj.) Look up surefire at
also sure-fire, by 1864, American English, from sure + fire (v.). Originally of rifles.
surely (adv.) Look up surely at
14c., from sure (adj.) + -ly (2).
surety (n.) Look up surety at
c. 1300, "a guarantee, promise, pledge, an assurance," from Old French seurté "a promise, pledge, guarantee; assurance, confidence" (12c., Modern French sûreté), from Latin securitatem (nominative securitas) "freedom from care or danger, safety, security," from securus (see secure (adj.)). From late 14c. as "security, safety, stability; state of peace," also "certainty, certitude; confidence." Meaning "one who makes himself responsible for another" is from early 15c. Until 1966, the French national criminal police department was the Sûreté nationale.
surf (n.) Look up surf at
1680s, probably from earlier suffe (1590s), of uncertain origin. Originally used in reference to the coast of India, hence perhaps of Indic origin. Or perhaps a phonetic respelling of sough, which meant "a rushing sound."
surf (v.) Look up surf at
"ride the crest of a wave," 1917, from surf (n.). Related: Surfed; surfing. In the Internet sense, first recorded 1993.
surface (n.) Look up surface at
1610s, from French surface "an outermost boundary, outside part" (16c.), from Old French sur- "above" (see sur-) + face (see face (n.)). Patterned on Latin superficies "surface, upper side, top" (see superficial). As an adjective from 1660s.
surface (v.) Look up surface at
"come to the surface," 1898, from surface (n.). Earlier it meant "bring to the surface" (1885), and "to give something a (polished) surface" (1778). Related: Surfaced; surfacing.
surfeit (n.) Look up surfeit at
early 14c., "excess quantity;" late 14c., "overindulgence," from Old French sorfet "excess; arrogance" (Modern French surfait), noun use of past participle of surfaire "overdo," from sur- "over" (see sur- (1)) + faire "do," from Latin facere "to make, do" (see factitious).
surfeit (v.) Look up surfeit at
late 14c., intransitive, "indulge or feed to excess," from surfeit (n.). Related: Surfeited; surfeiting. Transitive sense from 1590s.
surfer (n.) Look up surfer at
1955, agent noun from surf (v.).
surfing (n.) Look up surfing at
1955, verbal noun from surf (v.). The surfing craze went nationwide in U.S. from California in 1963. Surf-board is from 1826, originally in a Hawaiian and Polynesian context. Surf music attested from 1963.
It is highly amusing to a stranger to go out into the south part of this town, some day when the sea is rolling in heavily over the reef, and to observe there the evolutions and rapid career of a company of surf-players. The sport is so attractive and full of wild excitement to Hawaiians, and withal so healthful, that I cannot but hope it will be many years before civilization shall look it out of countenance, or make it disreputable to indulge in this manly, though it be dangerous, exercise. [the Rev. Henry T. Cheever, "Life in the Sandwich Islands," New York, 1851]

"The basis of surfing music is a rock and roll bass beat figuration, coupled with a raunch-type weird-sounding lead guitar plus wailing saxes. Surfing music has to sound untrained with a certain rough flavor to appeal to the teenagers." [music publisher Murray Wilson, quoted in "Billboard," June 29, 1963]
surge (n.) Look up surge at
late 15c., "fountain, stream," of uncertain origin, probably from Middle French sourge-, stem of sourdre "to rise, swell," from Latin surgere "to rise, arise, get up, mount up, ascend; attack," contraction of surrigere, from assimilated form of sub "up from below" (see sub-) + regere "to keep straight, guide" (see regal). Meaning "high, rolling swell of water" is from 1520s; figurative sense of "excited rising up" (as of feelings) is from 1510s.