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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web Extremely limited opportunities remain in Orchard Flower, an award-winning 55-plus community showcasing low-maintenance living, single-story homes, numerous amenities and a location approximately 10 miles from DFW International Airport. Dallas News, "Final homes selling in luxury 55-plus community," 11 Apr. 2021 Constructed of low maintenance native stone, the fire pit requires only a quick cleaning in the spring., "It’s time to embrace your outdoor space," 10 Apr. 2021 For a lot of customers, dealing with the often finicky details of making things secure—and the tedious maintenance required to keep things secure—is simply too much hassle. Justin Warren, Forbes, "HashiCorp Vault Cloud Service Goes GA," 7 Apr. 2021 Suspension maintenance is a major investment of money and time, sometimes involving removing and shipping parts. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, "Maintenance That Will Prep Your Bike for Spring," 29 Mar. 2021 Basic maintenance can be one of the most important elements of bathroom preservation. Washington Post, "Bathrooms are breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Here’s what you can do.," 10 Mar. 2021 Gray said road maintenance is not a one-time expense, and the village cannot raid and deplete other funds to pay for a public works department. Michelle Mullins,, "Candidates for Homer Glen board differ on Heritage Park and take over of Homer Township Road District," 10 Mar. 2021 Mai says that, while good maintenance is what makes potential buyers comfortable in the home, design is what keeps them thinking about it. San Francisco Chronicle, "Ask A Realtor: How do I make my San Francisco home stand out in today's crowded market?," 8 Mar. 2021 In any case, maintenance and repair on the instrument, given its size and complexity, had always been somewhat ad hoc. Daniel Alarcón, The New Yorker, "The Collapse of Puerto Rico’s Iconic Telescope," 29 Mar. 2021

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for maintenance

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Maintenance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for maintenance



English Language Learners Definition of maintenance

: the act of keeping property or equipment in good condition by making repairs, correcting problems, etc.
: the act of causing something to exist or continue without changing
: the act of providing support for someone or something


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

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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

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