25 Idioms for Support: Expressions of Encouragement


When it comes to support, idioms are no exception. They provide us with creative ways to talk about being there for someone or offering assistance.

In this listicle, we’ll explore 25 idioms for support, break down their meanings, and show you how to use them in a sentence. So, let’s dive in!

Support is like a sturdy pillar, providing strength and stability to those in need, holding them up and preventing them from falling in times of difficulty. For more comparisons to describe support, you can check this link: Similes for support. And for a variety of metaphors related to support, you can explore this link: Metaphors for support.

What is an idiom for support?

When we talk about idioms for support, we’re referring to expressions that describe various ways of helping or being there for someone.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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These idioms are like colorful puzzle pieces that fit perfectly into our everyday conversations. Here’s a breakdown of 25 idioms for support:

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Give someone a shoulder to lean on.Offer emotional support or comfort.When my friend lost her job, I gave her a shoulder to lean on.
Stand by someone’s side.Support or stay with someone during challenges.Even when the going gets tough, true friends always stand by each other’s side.
Be a pillar of strength.Be a source of unwavering support and stability.During the hurricane, our community came together, and our mayor became a true pillar of strength.
Lean on someone for support.Rely on someone for help or assistance.After the accident, Sarah had to lean on her family for emotional support and guidance.
Offer a helping hand.Provide assistance or aid to someone in need.Whenever my neighbor needs help with her groceries, I’m always ready to offer a helping hand.
Be a rock in times of trouble.Be a dependable source of support.My brother has always been my rock in times of trouble, and I’m grateful for his unwavering support.
Hold someone up.Provide support to prevent failure or falling.The safety harness held me up while I was climbing the steep mountain.
Provide a safety net.Offer a backup plan or support system.The insurance policy serves as a financial safety net in case of unexpected accidents.
Be someone’s backbone.Be the main source of support or strength.My parents have always been my backbone, supporting me in every endeavor I pursue.
Offer a crutch.Provide temporary support or assistance.While recovering from the surgery, the physical therapist offered a crutch to help me walk.
Be a source of encouragement.Inspire and motivate someone to achieve their goals.Your words of encouragement have been a constant source of motivation for me.
Give a boost.Provide assistance or encouragement to help someone succeed.The scholarship gave her the financial boost she needed to attend college.
Lend a hand.Offer assistance or help to someone in need.Whenever my neighbor is in a bind, I’m always ready to lend a hand with a smile.
Be a lifeline.Be a crucial source of support during a challenging situation.The 911 operator was a lifeline for the stranded hiker, guiding him to safety.
Extend a helping hand.Reach out and offer assistance to someone who is struggling.Our organization aims to extend a helping hand to those affected by natural disasters.
Offer a sympathetic ear.Listen with understanding and empathy to someone’s problems.When Sarah needed to vent, I offered a sympathetic ear and let her share her frustrations.
Be a solid foundation.Provide a stable and reliable base of support.The strong bond between the members of our team serves as a solid foundation for our success.
Give someone a leg up.Provide an advantage or opportunity to help someone advance.The mentorship program is designed to give aspiring entrepreneurs a leg up in the business world.
Be a source of inspiration.Motivate and encourage others through actions or words.Martin Luther King Jr. was a source of inspiration for civil rights activists around the world.
Provide a shoulder to cry on.Offer emotional support and comfort to someone who is upset.When my best friend’s pet passed away, I was there to provide a shoulder to cry on.
Offer a guiding light.Provide direction or guidance in a challenging situation.The experienced teacher served as a guiding light for her students, helping them navigate their academic journey.
Be a source of reassurance.Offer comfort and confidence to someone who is anxious.The doctor’s words of reassurance put my mind at ease before the surgery.
Give someone a hand up.Help someone overcome obstacles and improve their situation.The local charity aims to give homeless individuals a hand up by providing shelter and job training.
Be a source of motivation.Inspire and drive someone to take action or achieve their goals.The coach’s pep talk was a source of motivation for the team before the championship game.
Offer a friendly ear.Be approachable and willing to listen to someone’s thoughts.My neighbor is always ready to offer a friendly ear when I need to talk about my day.
idioms for support

Idioms for Support

1. Give someone a shoulder to lean on.

Meaning: To offer emotional support or comfort to someone in need.

In a Sentence: When my friend lost her job, I gave her a shoulder to lean on by listening to her worries and offering encouragement.

2. Stand by someone’s side.

Meaning: To support or stay with someone, especially during challenging times.

In a Sentence: Even when the going gets tough, true friends always stand by each other’s side.

3. Be a pillar of strength.

Meaning: To be a source of unwavering support and stability.

In a Sentence: During the hurricane, our community came together, and our mayor became a true pillar of strength.

4. Lean on someone for support.

Meaning: To rely on someone for help or assistance.

In a Sentence: After the accident, Sarah had to lean on her family for emotional support and guidance.

5. Offer a helping hand.

Meaning: To provide assistance or aid to someone in need.

In a Sentence: Whenever my neighbor needs help with her groceries, I’m always ready to offer a helping hand.

6. Be a rock in times of trouble.

Meaning: To be a dependable source of support during difficult situations.

In a Sentence: My brother has always been my rock in times of trouble, and I’m grateful for his unwavering support.

7. Hold someone up.

Meaning: To provide physical or emotional support to prevent someone from falling or failing.

In a Sentence: The safety harness held me up while I was climbing the steep mountain.

8. Provide a safety net.

Meaning: To offer a backup plan or support system to protect against failure or harm.

In a Sentence: The insurance policy serves as a financial safety net in case of unexpected accidents.

9. Be someone’s backbone.

Meaning: To be the main source of support or strength for someone.

In a Sentence: My parents have always been my backbone, supporting me in every endeavor I pursue.

10. Offer a crutch.

Meaning: To provide temporary support or assistance to someone facing a challenge.

In a Sentence: While recovering from the surgery, the physical therapist offered a crutch to help me walk.

11. Be a source of encouragement.

Meaning: To inspire and motivate someone to achieve their goals.

In a Sentence: Your words of encouragement have been a constant source of motivation for me.

12. Give a boost.

Meaning: To provide assistance or encouragement to help someone improve or succeed.

In a Sentence: The scholarship gave her the financial boost she needed to attend college.

13. Lend a hand.

Meaning: To offer assistance or help to someone in need.

In a Sentence: Whenever my neighbor is in a bind, I’m always ready to lend a hand with a smile.

14. Be a lifeline.

Meaning: To be a crucial source of support or help during a challenging situation.

In a Sentence: The 911 operator was a lifeline for the stranded hiker, guiding him to safety.

15. Extend a helping hand.

Meaning: To reach out and offer assistance to someone who is struggling.

In a Sentence: Our organization aims to extend a helping hand to those affected by natural disasters.

16. Offer a sympathetic ear.

Meaning: To listen with understanding and empathy to someone’s problems or concerns.

In a Sentence: When Sarah needed to vent, I offered a sympathetic ear and let her share her frustrations.

17. Be a solid foundation.

Meaning: To provide a stable and reliable base of support.

In a Sentence: The strong bond between the members of our team serves as a solid foundation for our success.

18. Give someone a leg up.

Meaning: To provide an advantage or opportunity to someone, helping them advance.

In a Sentence: The mentorship program is designed to give aspiring entrepreneurs a leg up in the business world.

19. Be a source of inspiration.

Meaning: To motivate and encourage others through one’s actions or words.

In a Sentence: Martin Luther King Jr. was a source of inspiration for civil rights activists around the world.

20. Provide a shoulder to cry on.

Meaning: To offer emotional support and comfort to someone who is upset or grieving.

In a Sentence: When my best friend’s pet passed away, I was there to provide a shoulder to cry on.

21. Offer a guiding light.

Meaning: To provide direction or guidance in a challenging situation.

In a Sentence: The experienced teacher served as a guiding light for her students, helping them navigate their academic journey.

22. Be a source of reassurance.

Meaning: To offer comfort and confidence to someone who is anxious or uncertain.

In a Sentence: The doctor’s words of reassurance put my mind at ease before the surgery.

23. Give someone a hand up.

Meaning: To help someone overcome obstacles and improve their situation.

In a Sentence: The local charity aims to give homeless individuals a hand up by providing shelter and job training.

24. Be a source of motivation.

Meaning: To inspire and drive someone to take action or achieve their goals.

In a Sentence: The coach’s pep talk was a source of motivation for the team before the championship game.

25. Offer a friendly ear.

Meaning: To be approachable and willing to listen to someone’s thoughts and concerns.

In a Sentence: My neighbor is always ready to offer a friendly ear when I need to talk about my day.

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

Quiz 1: Idioms for Support

  1. What does the idiom “Give someone a shoulder to lean on” mean?
    a) To offer physical support
    b) To provide emotional support or comfort
    c) To carry someone on your shoulders
  2. Which idiom means “To be a dependable source of support during difficult situations”?
    a) Stand by someone’s side
    b) Be a rock in times of trouble
    c) Lend a hand
  3. “Offer a helping hand” means:
    a) To offer a hand in marriage
    b) To provide assistance or aid to someone in need
    c) To ask for help

Quiz 2: More Idioms for Support

  1. What does the expression “Provide a safety net” signify?
    a) Offering a literal net for safety
    b) Offering a backup plan or support system
    c) Providing financial support
  2. To “Be someone’s backbone” means:
    a) To have a strong spine
    b) To be the main source of support or strength for someone
    c) To give someone a hug
  3. “Offer a crutch” means:
    a) To provide temporary support or assistance
    b) To give someone a stick to walk with
    c) To criticize someone’s actions

Quiz 3: Inspirational Idioms

  1. What does “Give a boost” mean?
    a) To push someone
    b) To provide assistance or encouragement to help someone succeed
    c) To offer a lift in a car
  2. “Be a source of inspiration” signifies:
    a) Being a source of annoyance
    b) Motivating and encouraging others through actions or words
    c) Being a boring person
  3. To “Lend a hand” means:
    a) To lend a literal hand
    b) To offer assistance or help to someone in need
    c) To give someone money

Quiz 4: Supportive Expressions

  1. What does “Be a lifeline” mean?
    a) To be a long piece of rope
    b) To be a crucial source of support during a challenging situation
    c) To be a source of entertainment
  2. “Extend a helping hand” means:
    a) To offer a high five
    b) To offer assistance to someone who is struggling
    c) To point at someone in need
  3. “Offer a sympathetic ear” signifies:
    a) Offering a physical ear
    b) Listening with understanding and empathy to someone’s problems or concerns
    c) Offering a musical performance

Quiz 5: More Supportive Idioms

  1. What does “Be a solid foundation” mean?
    a) To be a strong building
    b) To provide a stable and reliable base of support
    c) To be a heavy rock
  2. “Give someone a leg up” means:
    a) To physically lift someone
    b) To provide an advantage or opportunity to help someone advance
    c) To trip someone
  3. “Provide a shoulder to cry on” signifies:
    a) Offering a literal shoulder to cry on
    b) Offering emotional support and comfort to someone who is upset
    c) Offering a tissue

Feel free to use these quizzes to test your knowledge of idioms for support!

Conclusion

These idioms for support add depth and creativity to our conversations when discussing assistance and being there for others. They beautifully capture the various ways we can offer help and encouragement to those in need.

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