Definition of maintain
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
4a : to support or provide for has a family to maintainb : sustain enough food to maintain life
5 : to affirm in or as if in argument : assert maintained that the earth is flat
maintainabilityplay \-ˌtā-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
maintainableplay \-ˈtā-nə-bəl\ adjective
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.
Recent Examples of maintain from the Web
That left a huge gap between Republicans who wanted to maintain the popular benefits and those who wanted to repeal the law entirely.
That said, one of your ideas for adults wishing to maintain their curiosity is to do something that’s surprising or that seems out of character for them.
Faulconer has maintained his desire to stay in the city, but Republicans in California are eager to put forward strong candidates for the gubernatorial race in 2018.
High pressure building to our north will maintain northeast winds through Monday.
To make SoR’s list, an organization must at a minimum maintain a public web page with a position statement on animal research.
Despite Mr. Trump’s searing put-downs on Twitter, many conservatives maintain that for lesser public figures like Mr. Inman, certain rules of decorum and political correctness still apply.
Most talked about the bells, which were paid for by resident donations, some in memory of people who had died, and the countless volunteer hours put into raising money for and maintaining the structure.
The most alarming part, however, is that despite the aforementioned allegations, American maintains that the uniforms are not the cause of their employees' newfound health problems.
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.
Origin and Etymology of maintain
Middle English mainteinen, from Anglo-French maintenir, maynteiner, from Medieval Latin manutenēre, from Latin manu tenēre to hold in the hand
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of maintain
MAINTAIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of maintain for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of maintain for Students
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