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

While some may want to open the door to reconciliation, others may want to maintain the distance or are just looking to survive the interaction. Ashley Edwards Walker, Good Housekeeping, "How to Navigate the Holidays When There’s an Estrangement in Your Family," 21 Dec. 2018 As usual, the musicians all maintained a good sense of humor and didn't let the negative feedback bother them. Michelle Profis, Country Living, "Jimmy Kimmel Just Released a Country Music Edition of His Hilarious "Mean Tweets" Segment," 15 Nov. 2018 In the weeks leading up the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans were fighting to maintain control of both the House and the Senate in a cycle that let voters make a judgment call not just about their lawmakers but about Trump’s presidency. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "This Is How Women Voted in the Midterms—and What It Means for Election 2020," 12 Nov. 2018 Basically, should a serious national emergency arise, then the U.S. President (or the person who has had to succeed him or her) can authorize a temporary government to maintain control of the essential functions of the Federal Government. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Meet the new Air Force helicopters that can 'defy Armageddon'," 27 Sep. 2018 Make sure to go slow and maintain control throughout this movement, says DiSalvo. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "The 2 Exercises You Need to Help You Master Jessica Biel's Challenging Pistol Squats," 19 Sep. 2018 But Indonesia, a tropical nation of 18,000 islands home to 260 million people, has had little success in installing and maintaining sophisticated early warning systems along its nearly 35,000 miles of coastline. I Made Sentana, WSJ, "Indonesia Tsunami Death Toll Rises to 429 as Volcano Threat Remains," 25 Dec. 2018 Traditional virtual machines have their own operating system installation stored on a virtual disk image, and that operating system must be updated and maintained separately from the host operating system. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Microsoft unveils Windows Sandbox: Run any app in a disposable virtual machine," 19 Dec. 2018 The weight will naturally want to pull you to one side, and your goal—and the main challenge of this move, like Holder mentioned—is to counteract that imbalance and maintain good form. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Seriously Challenge Your Core With This Deadlift Variation From Naomi Campbell's Trainer," 19 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

13 Jan 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

Comments on maintain

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