Definition of supper in US English:



  • An evening meal, typically a light or informal one.

    ‘we had a delicious cold supper’
    ‘I was sent to bed without any supper’
    • ‘But then his mom told him to clean his room and get washed up for supper.’
    • ‘She'll be having her supper on a tray, watching the sundown birds.’
    • ‘The three carried their supper into the living room and after a few mouthfuls of tea, picked up their instruments.’
    • ‘They will be greeted with a light supper before heading to the local pub for a drink.’
    • ‘It was obviously meant for family meals or private informal suppers with friends.’
    • ‘Two of her four children were in their locked bedroom, waiting for their supper.’
    • ‘Originating in London, the spa towns and developing seaside resorts to provide entertainment for their seasonal influx of visitors, Assemblies consisted of a concert followed by dancing, card games and a light supper.’
    • ‘Traditional Spanish tapas bars serve meat, cheese, tortillas and salads as the light evening supper, and Spanish wine flows freely, as does olive oil.’
    • ‘Card tables were set up, a good supper was enjoyed and plenty of gossip ensued.’
    • ‘After they eat supper, they argue over the remnants of the basket of mushrooms.’
    • ‘You might just end up without any supper for the evening.’
    • ‘He sits there for a while, but a nurse comes along and makes him get some supper.’
    • ‘He chooses times of day when the lights are just coming on, twilight or early evening, when people are still awake, maybe congregating in a single room for supper or to watch TV.’
    • ‘Then he'd play catch with his son for 15 or 20 or 30 minutes before supper.’
    • ‘The tour will be from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by a light supper and social hour.’
    • ‘They had all eaten poisonous mushrooms for supper, except the boy, who was denied supper as a punishment, because he had misbehaved.’
    dinner, evening meal, main meal
    evening snack
    View synonyms


  • sing for one's supper

    • Earn a favor or benefit by providing a service in return.

      ‘the cruise lecturers are academics singing for their supper’
      • ‘Frankly, if they're not going to sing for their supper, they should go straight out the door’.’
      • ‘This is one of those moments where publicists really have to break out the creativity and sing for their supper.’
      • ‘Whether it would guarantee her success in the big race was another matter, but nobody expects her to sing for her supper every night.’
      • ‘Reason is I'm doing a bit of network support for a friend while I'm there - singing for my supper, as it were.’
      • ‘A colleague rather unkindly called it singing for our supper every evening of our lives!’
      • ‘Though ostensibly a study of contemporary trends, the programme relied almost exclusively on picturesque images from the long-gone era of horse-drawn wagons, roadside tinsmithery and jolly beggarmen singing for their supper.’
      • ‘All sang for their supper, offering the principal selling points of their country and their people: ‘Abundance of cheap labour… a treasure house of resources… a captive market.’’
      • ‘But I sometimes wonder what it would be like to just be a normal guest, rather than someone who sings for their supper.’
      • ‘For once in your life, you don't have to sing for your supper.’
      • ‘Decades ago, my dad said, ‘You never know when you might need to sing for your supper.’’


Middle English: from Old French super ‘to sup’ (used as a noun) (see sup).