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

It is run by a nonprofit organization that maintains a museum, visitor center and gift shop, and conducts tours of the home. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Daywatch: Disgraced former alderman collects $95K annual pension, Itasca residents aim to block drug rehab center and other things to know about to start your day," 16 Sep. 2019 Jetro Willems' stunning strike gave the visiting side a shock lead inside the opening 10 minutes, before a Sadio Mane brace and Mo Salah's second-half goal ensured Liverpool maintained its perfect start to the season. Matias Grez, CNN, "Liverpool battles back against Newcastle to maintain perfect start to the season," 14 Sep. 2019 Tell the team to play through the Mexican press, and see who maintains his composure or who tries to freelance. Brian Straus, SI.com, "For USMNT, Two Very Different Friendlies With One Set of Prevalent Themes," 11 Sep. 2019 Notably, the device is also USB-IF certified, so it has been approved by the body that maintains the USB spec. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: Get a 72W, four-port, USB-C PD wall charger for $26," 10 Sep. 2019 But government funding agencies in Europe and the United Kingdom harbor fewer suspicions about grantees who maintain robust ties with China. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "Chinese ties don’t faze European funders," 10 Sep. 2019 Researchers have been intrigued, in particular, by one document called the Temple Scroll, a 25-foot-long parchment that still maintains a bright white surface. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Unique Salt Coating Helped Preserve 25-Foot-Long Dead Sea Scroll," 9 Sep. 2019 Everyone attending a yoga class, then, should follow etiquette rules that help maintain an aura of calm, concentrated effort. The Washington Post, The Know, "The 12 dos and don’ts of yoga class," 7 Sep. 2019 Lyft also started giving priority to certain drivers, such as those who maintained especially high acceptance rates or who rented their vehicles directly from its Express Drive program, forcing other drivers off the road when demand is low. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "California is about to rewrite the rules of the gig economy," 7 Sep. 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

7 Oct 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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