Definition of maintain
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
4a : to support or provide for has a family to maintainb : sustain enough food to maintain life
5 : to affirm in or as if in argument : assert maintained that the earth is flat
maintainabilityplay \-ˌtā-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
maintainableplay \-ˈtā-nə-bəl\ adjective
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.
Recent Examples of maintain from the Web
Iraqi soldiers maintaining a siege prevent aid workers from getting food to those inside.
In 2014, the canal system brought in $1.5 million in tolls and permits—but took $55 million to operate and maintain, reports NPR.
You’ll be stuck basing your marriage on an asset that no human in the world can possibly maintain.
But therapists must maintain boundaries or put their jobs at risk.
Holmes, whose grandfather was a farmer, has maintained a plot in People's Garden every summer since 2015.
Try rubbing them gently with one hand while the other maintains a stroke.
During the 1980s, U.S. Air Force maintained the top secret 4477th Test & Evaluation Squadron.
The ultra-Orthodox religious establishment sees itself as responsible for maintaining traditions through centuries of persecution and assimilation.
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.
Origin and Etymology of maintain
Middle English mainteinen, from Anglo-French maintenir, maynteiner, from Medieval Latin manutenēre, from Latin manu tenēre to hold in the hand
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of maintain
MAINTAIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of maintain for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of maintain for Students
Seen and Heard
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