main·te·nance | \ ˈmānt-nən(t)s , 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

An airport maintenance worker spotted the intruder, later identified by police as E’Donis T. Andrews, 22. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, "Fence jumpers highlight security vulnerability at Hartsfield-Jackson," 12 July 2018 The only challenger to receive BTU’s endorsement was Jim Silvernale, who represents maintenance workers through the Federation of Public Employees union. Scott Travis,, "Teachers union not endorsing any candidate with ties to Stoneman Douglas," 12 July 2018 John Zalsman and David Hughes, both maintenance workers at the park, face charges of misleading investigators. Steve Vockrodt And Lauren Fox, kansascity, "Schlitterbahn to tear down Verruckt water slide in KCK where young boy died in 2016," 12 July 2018 Ralph McDaniel Paige was born on July 28, 1943, in LaGrange, Ga., to Edward and Dora Paige, maintenance workers at local businesses. Daniel E. Slotnik, New York Times, "Ralph Paige, Champion of Black Farmers, Dies at 74," 6 July 2018 Tiafoe was raised in College Park where his father was a maintenance worker at the Junior Tennis Champions Center and lived with his family in an office that served as their apartment., "Riverdale's Tiafoe wins again at Wimbledon, reaches third round at Grand Slam tournament for first time," 5 July 2018 When the city denied their request, the association had maintenance workers physically remove the bikes from the neighborhood’s commercial zone. Gustavo Solis,, "Coronado to recycle impounded dockless bicycles," 4 July 2018 Turkish pilots and maintenance workers will train on the aircraft for many months before taking them to the country, which straddles Europe and Asia and has long been considered a key U.S. ally. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "Lockheed Martin delivers first F-35 to Turkey, over objections from some in Congress," 21 June 2018 The drama started after maintenance workers removed the creature from the roof of an office block in St. Paul, Minnesota. Bani Sapra, CNN, "Raccoon captivates internet with Minnesota skyscraper climb," 13 June 2018

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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Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for maintenance

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

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More Definitions for maintenance


main·te·nance | \ ˈmān-tə-nəns \

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 \

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

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