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

The apartments are managed and maintained by dedicated and caring volunteers. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Church Apartment Ministry helps Texas Medical Center patients," 11 July 2019 It’s currently maintained by the city of Brookfield. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Enrollment surge could lead the Elmbrook School District to reopen Hillside Elementary, consider a referendum," 10 July 2019 Not only are the tie-dye pieces cloud puff soft, the sweaters and tanks are dyed so that the colors maintain their vibrancy (even after a few washes). Teen Vogue, "This Celeb-Approved Brand Is Releasing The Ultimate Tie-Dye Collection," 9 July 2019 Lasting legacy After the 1964 Civil Rights Act desegregated public accommodations, municipalities followed different strategies intended to keep the racial peace through maintaining segregation. Victoria W. Wolcott, The Conversation, "The forgotten history of segregated swimming pools and amusement parks," 9 July 2019 Denver, which has issued minibonds for years, struggled to build and maintain its online user system, Ely says, and high costs have plagued minibond programs elsewhere. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "How a Blockchain Could Help Roll Out Berkeley’s Next Fire Truck," 9 July 2019 Most NGOs are not good at keeping records and maintaining a paper trail. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Are Indian social enterprises ready to benefit from the proposed social stock exchange?," 8 July 2019 The Bancroft House in Spring Valley is a historic adobe ranch house that was owned by historian Hubert Howe Bancroft and is now preserved and maintained by the Spring Valley Historical Society. Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Spring Valley: Large unincorporated area started with shipwreck wood," 30 June 2019 In 2018, 25 transgender people, the vast majority of them minorities, were killed in the United States, according to a count maintained by Glaad, the organization that tracks representation of the L.G.B.T.Q. community in the media. New York Times, "For Young People of Color, a Safe L.G.B.T.Q. Space in the Bronx," 29 June 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

14 Jul 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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