Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

subsistence

play
noun sub·sis·tence \səb-ˈsis-tən(t)s\

Simple Definition of subsistence

  • : the amount of food, money, etc., that is needed to stay alive

Full Definition of subsistence

  1. 1a (1) :  real being :  existence (2) :  the condition of remaining in existence :  continuation, persistenceb :  an essential characteristic quality of something that existsc :  the character possessed by whatever is logically conceivable

  2. 2 :  means of subsisting: asa :  the minimum (as of food and shelter) necessary to support lifeb :  a source or means of obtaining the necessities of life

sub·sis·tent play \-tənt\ adjective

Examples of subsistence

  1. They depended on hunting and fishing for subsistence.

  2. Farming is their means of subsistence.



Origin of subsistence

Middle English, from Late Latin subsistentia, from subsistent-, subsistens, present participle of subsistere


First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with subsistence




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up subsistence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift kittly-benders duvet pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ