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

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

While Velayati maintained a combative tone, his careful response reflected the intense diplomatic maneuvering ahead of the Helsinki summit. Vladimir Isachenkov, Fox News, "Iran has no intention to leave Syria, top official says," 13 July 2018 While Velayati maintained a combative tone, his careful response reflected the intense diplomatic maneuvering ahead of the Helsinki summit. Washington Post, "Iran has no intention to leave Syria, top official says," 13 July 2018 Bareilles's score offers all kinds of interesting rhythmic variety while maintaining the tuneful accessibility expected of a Broadway musical. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "In the world of Waitress, almost all sins can be forgiven with a song," 11 July 2018 The grains hold together while maintaining their toothsome individuality. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "No-frills Sushi Nakano one of the best casual sushi restaurants in Phoenix," 10 July 2018 With each wear, these shoes have became more fitted to my feet while still maintaining their shape. Rebecca Shinners, Health.com, "These Millennial Pink Sneakers Are So Comfortable, I Haven’t Worn Anything Else This Summer," 9 July 2018 This fair-weather high is forecast to move slowly eastward through Sunday while maintaining its influence on area weather. Tom Skilling, chicagotribune.com, "Pleasant July weather in town for the weekend," 7 July 2018 The study showed that not offering mammograms to women at low risk for breast cancer might reduce the harms associated with screening, while still maintaining the benefits. Orly Nadell Farber, STAT, "New approach to breast cancer screening — tailoring guidelines for each patient — may save lives and money, study says," 5 July 2018 Bradley still gets paid (he's guaranteed around $14 million, should L.A. release him next summer), while the Clippers maintain the flexibility to pursue any available stars. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "NBA Free Agency 2018: Under-the-Radar Grades," 4 July 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

3 Nov 2018

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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