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 maintain (audio) \ noun
maintainable \ mān-​ˈtā-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce maintain (audio) \ adjective
maintainer noun

Synonyms for maintain

Synonyms

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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 Whether or not those prices maintain their lofty levels, the movie theater chain will have capitalized on its moment in the sun. Scott Nover, Quartz, 7 June 2021 That means most employees in public workplaces, such as stores, and private ones, like offices or factories, could take off their masks and work in close quarters — assuming employers don’t maintain their own mask or distancing rules. oregonlive, 7 June 2021 Donald Trump will be in Dallas in July to appear at a major conservative gathering, organizers said Thursday – a fresh spotlight in a friendly state for an ex-president keen to make a comeback, or at least maintain control over the Republican Party. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 3 June 2021 During these difficult times, for example, the UK has helped maintain its economy by providing a range of schemes to employers and employees alike. Nick Green, Forbes, 2 June 2021 To accommodate the fast-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, UPC started organizing four outdoor events in February that would allow attendees to reconnect in person but still maintain social distance. Connor Sanders, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 June 2021 Students from Iran must travel to other countries to apply for visas because the U.S. does not maintain an embassy in the Persian nation. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2021 That led Madison to favor the Electoral College, which allowed white Southerners to maintain parity with the North by wielding three-fifths of the electoral power that rightfully belonged to enslaved people. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 17 May 2021 It's backed by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which does its best to pretend to be an eight-speed but can't always maintain the illusion. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 17 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for maintain

Time Traveler

The first known use of maintain was in the 14th century

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Statistics for maintain

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Maintain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maintain. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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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