main·​te·​nance | \ ˈmānt-nən(t)s How to pronounce maintenance (audio) , ˈmān-tə-nən(t)s \

Definition of maintenance

1 : the act of maintaining : the state of being maintained : support The building has suffered from years of poor maintenance.
2 : something that maintains at least half of them are living parasitically on the other half instead of producing maintenance for themselves— G. B. Shaw
3 : the upkeep of property or equipment the maintenance of the school
4 : an officious or unlawful intermeddling in a legal suit by assisting either party with means to carry it on

Examples of maintenance in a Sentence

Soon he could take an Underwood apart and put it together blindfolded, a trick that won him the account for maintenance of all the typewriters at Columbia-Presbyterian hospital … — Ian Frazier, Atlantic, November 1997 The building has suffered from years of poor maintenance. the costs of routine car maintenance maintenance of law and order money for the family's maintenance
Recent Examples on the Web Even in 2016, Gartner predicted that by using digital twins, real-time feedback from IoT sensors could save $1 trillion a year in maintenance, services and consumables by 2022. Jennifer Kite-powell, Forbes, 16 May 2022 In addition to these amenities, grounds maintenance, trash pickup, snow removal and annual mulching are included in the fee. Karen A. Avitabile, Hartford Courant, 16 May 2022 Help with trail maintenance, gardening, structural repairs and more. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 15 May 2022 Mayor David Weiss asked about money being transferred out of the district’s operating fund to cover ongoing maintenance, which works out to about $10 million a year -- some of that for staffing, Glasner said. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 10 May 2022 Nancy says that general maintenance, which might include a thorough cleaning, pest control, and new paint, should cost about 3% to 5% of rental income. Emma Reynolds, House Beautiful, 10 May 2022 The union represents about 14% of Cedars-Sinai’s 14,000 employees — mainly those who work in maintenance, service and clinical support. Somesh Jha, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2022 The district also announced the hiring of Carlos Avalos as the director of maintenance, operations and facilities. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Apr. 2022 His unit is in need of maintenance, cleaning and decluttering because of hoarding. New York Times, 23 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maintenance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of maintenance

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for maintenance

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from maintenir — see maintain

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Time Traveler for maintenance

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

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Dictionary Entries Near maintenance



maintenance bond

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Statistics for maintenance

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Maintenance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for maintenance


main·​te·​nance | \ ˈmān-tə-nəns How to pronounce maintenance (audio) \

Kids Definition of maintenance

1 : the act of keeping or providing for : the state of being kept or provided for One of government's jobs is the maintenance of law and order. We collected money for the family's maintenance.
2 : upkeep Workers in charge of maintenance painted the building.


main·​te·​nance | \ ˈmānt-nən(t)s, -ᵊn-ən(t)s How to pronounce maintenance (audio) \

Medical Definition of maintenance

: designed or adequate to maintain a patient in a stable condition : serving to maintain a gradual process of healing or to prevent a relapse a maintenance dose maintenance chemotherapy



Legal Definition of maintenance

1a : the act of providing basic and necessary support
b : the state of having such support
2 : a financial means of providing necessary assistance: as
a : alimony
b : support
3 : the necessities of life provided for by payment of maintenance
4 : the upkeep of property or equipment
5 : unsought and unnecessary meddling in a lawsuit by assisting either party with means to carry it on — compare champerty

More from Merriam-Webster on maintenance

Nglish: Translation of maintenance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maintenance for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about maintenance


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