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 \ mān-​ˌtā-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce maintainability (audio) \ noun
maintainable \ mān-​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

Still, Byeongsu maintains a chilling detachment that’s often played for irony. Alana Mohamed, The Atlantic, "Inside the Head of an Aging Serial Killer," 11 June 2019 Her task at Metro will be creating planning and maintenance programs to ensure that the transit agency doesn’t backslide on its efforts to maintain the system. Washington Post, "Metro has a new team running its rail operations. There’s something unusual about them.," 10 June 2019 Cécile Derbès, 53, is a Champagne native who owns a vineyard in France and maintains a small winery and home in California as well. Alicia Delgallo, Pro Soccer USA, "USWNT greeted warmly in Reims, France ahead of first World Cup match," 9 June 2019 More than two decades later, its 70-plus employees maintain that central focus. Michael L. Jackson, Indianapolis Star, "Top Workplaces 2019: Indesign," 8 June 2019 Moye responded that to comply with his order, the car wash must maintain barricades at all points of entry and have a regular patrol to ensure there is no trespassing. Sarah Sarder, Dallas News, "Days after fatal South Dallas shootout, judge grants temporary restraining order on Jim's Car Wash," 6 June 2019 This practice ensured the transfer of historical knowledge and allowed Roch to infuse fresh ideas and additional innovation into the organization, giving the company the best opportunity to maintain the highest level of service. Credit Union West, azcentral, "Credit Union West recognized as top company for seventh consecutive year," 4 June 2019 In an attempt to maintain their safety, police reportedly barricaded 20 Trump supporters in a pub amid protests. Fox News, "Trump supporter pops massive balloon depicting POTUS as baby at UK protests," 4 June 2019 Augustus did maintain authority over the Senate, though, and exercised his veto power. National Geographic, "Who was Augustus Caesar?," 20 May 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

16 Jun 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

Comments on maintain

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