maintenance

noun main·te·nance \ ˈmānt-nən(t)s , ˈmān-tə-nən(t)s \
Updated on: 21 Nov 2017

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

  1. 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 FrazierAtlanticNovember 1997
  2. The new machine made the sharecropper system that had replaced slavery obsolete, and the maintenance of segregation and terror unnecessary. —C. Vann WoodwardNew York Times Book Review24 Feb. 1991
  3. But the apartments they actually leased sat directly across Wayne Avenue—minus the gardens and the careful maintenance that existed when white families had lived there. —Gloria NaylorLinden Hills1985
  4. The building has suffered from years of poor maintenance.

  5. the costs of routine car maintenance

  6. maintenance of law and order

  7. money for the family's maintenance

Recent Examples of maintenance from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of maintenance

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


MAINTENANCE Defined for Kids

maintenance

noun main·te·nance \ ˈmān-tə-nəns \

Definition of maintenance for Students

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.

Medical Dictionary

maintenance

adjective main·te·nance \ ˈmānt-nən(t)s, -ᵊn-ən(t)s \

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

Law Dictionary

maintenance

noun main·te·nance

legal Definition of maintenance

1 a : 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


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