maintain

verb
main·​tain | \ mān-ˈtān , mən-\
maintained; maintaining; maintains

Definition of maintain

transitive verb

1 : to keep in an existing state (as of repair, efficiency, or validity) : preserve from failure or decline maintain machinery
2 : to sustain against opposition or danger : uphold and defend maintain a position
3 : to continue or persevere in : carry on, keep up couldn't maintain his composure
4a : to support or provide for has a family to maintain
b : sustain enough food to maintain life
5 : to affirm in or as if in argument : assert maintained that the earth is flat

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Other Words from maintain

maintainability \ -​ˌtā-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
maintainable \ -​ˈtā-​nə-​bəl \ adjective
maintainer noun

Synonyms for maintain

Synonyms

conserve, keep up, preserve, save

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Choose the Right Synonym for maintain

maintain, assert, defend, vindicate, justify mean to uphold as true, right, just, or reasonable. maintain stresses firmness of conviction. steadfastly maintained his innocence assert suggests determination to make others accept one's claim. asserted her rights defend implies maintaining in the face of attack or criticism. defended his voting record vindicate implies successfully defending. his success vindicated our faith in him justify implies showing to be true, just, or valid by appeal to a standard or to precedent. the action was used to justify military intervention

Examples of maintain in a Sentence

They have always maintained high standards of professional conduct. He has found it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. The company has done a poor job of maintaining its computer network. It was obvious that the house had been poorly maintained. She was finding it hard to maintain her balance. She still maintains a close relationship with her college roommate. It's difficult to maintain a correspondence when we're both so busy. The pilot was struggling to maintain control of the aircraft. The police say that they will do whatever is necessary to maintain law and order.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This modern take on the classic series will maintain the chilling feeling viewers loved about the original, while also telling the stories through the lens of a premium Netflix documentary series. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'Unsolved Mysteries' Is Getting a Netflix Reboot So Prepare to Have Nightmares Forever," 24 Jan. 2019 The master bedroom maintains a colorful vintage vibe, this time with a more subdued palette that brings some of the outdoors in. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "An Uninspired NYC Apartment Is Revived With Color, Charisma, and Customization," 17 Jan. 2019 Avrame says their homes are more efficient and maintain heat better than traditional A-frames thanks to durable structural insulated panels. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Affordable A-frame house can be built by just two people," 11 Jan. 2019 Sure, a new MacBook Air is great, but if Apple can’t maintain specs to keep up with the times, it’ll quickly be outclassed by the competition again. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Apple," 27 Dec. 2018 Duchess Kate prefers Trilogy Rosehip Oil, in particular, which has helped her to maintain flawless skin throughout her third pregnancy and possibly also through her pregnancy with Princess Charlotte. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "The 5 Complexion-Boosting Benefits of Rosehip Oil," 11 Dec. 2018 In 2008, for example, the U.S. Army urgently acquired FN303 paintball guns to help maintain order in detainee camps, though such projectiles were too weak against enraged subjects. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Secret History of Plasma Weapons," 14 Nov. 2018 Further, this reform would maintain judicial independence, but instill regularity to the nominations process, discourage Justices from choosing a retirement date based on politics, and will stop the ever-increasing tenure of Justices. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the case for 18-year Supreme Court terms," 26 Dec. 2018 The city must maintain compliance for two years before the consent decree can be dissolved. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "Federal judge expands his inquiry into overturning of Seattle police officer’s firing," 11 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maintain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of maintain

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for maintain

Middle English mainteinen, from Anglo-French maintenir, maynteiner, from Medieval Latin manutenēre, from Latin manu tenēre to hold in the hand

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Statistics for maintain

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maintain

The first known use of maintain was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for maintain

maintain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of maintain

: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing
: to keep (something) in good condition by making repairs, correcting problems, etc.
: to continue having or doing (something)

maintain

verb
main·​tain | \ mān-ˈtān \
maintained; maintaining

Kids Definition of maintain

1 : to carry on : continue After many years they still maintain a correspondence.
2 : to keep in a particular or desired state Eat properly to maintain good health.
3 : to insist to be true She maintains her innocence.
4 : to provide for : support I maintained my family by working two jobs.

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More from Merriam-Webster on maintain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maintain

Spanish Central: Translation of maintain

Nglish: Translation of maintain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maintain for Arabic Speakers

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