maintain

verb
main·​tain | \ mān-ˈtān How to pronounce maintain (audio) , 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 How to pronounce maintainability (audio) \ noun
maintainable \ -​ˈtā-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce maintainable (audio) \ 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

Advertising Stone, who is set to go on trial in November, has maintained his innocence and blasted the special counsel’s investigation as politically motivated. Chad Day, The Seattle Times, "Trump confidant Roger Stone seeks full Mueller report," 13 Apr. 2019 As with early cyclocopters, when takeoff was achieved, maintaining stability was virtually impossible. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "After More Than a Century, the Cyclocopter Is Making a Comeback," 5 Apr. 2019 Though interest remains, the momentum has been difficult (and costly) to maintain, as attention turns to Shanghai and parts further afield, while local success stories like Low Classic and Blindness have departed for Europe. Monica Kim, Vogue, "The 5 Designers to Know From Seoul Fashion Week Fall 2019," 29 Mar. 2019 Texas Tech pushed its advantage to 62-33 when Brandone Francis’ free throw capped off another 9-0 run with 9:15 remaining, and the Red Raiders managed to maintain at least a 20-point lead the rest of the way. John Tranchina, The Seattle Times, "Culver, stifling defense, lift Texas Tech over Buffalo 78-58," 25 Mar. 2019 The Ring Grip, which slips a partial sleeve over the base of a mascara wand, features a rose-gold loop that allows users to maintain a grip without having to hold on too hard. Marci Robin, Allure, "A New Makeup Brand Is Making Mascara Wands More Accessible for People With Disabilities," 22 Mar. 2019 The Masquerade, this mandate that humans must not find out about vampires, was a lot easier to maintain. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "15 years later, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is finally happening," 21 Mar. 2019 And expect your terrestrial sense of what constitutes an amenity to change: Since venturing outdoors would be a complex, risky prospect, a space hotel will prioritize the gym, both to maintain fitness and stave off cabin fever. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Tourist's Guide to Space," 12 Mar. 2019 Since then, the entire city has maintained its terra-cotta pink coloring, much to the delight of Instagram-happy travelers. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 25 most colorful cities in the world," 19 Feb. 2019

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

21 Apr 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 How to pronounce maintain (audio) \
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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