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

American Airlines said Flight 2834 returned to the gate for maintenance, and all the passengers were put on another plane bound for Nassau. NBC News, "Miami airline mechanic tampered with American Airlines plane to get overtime pay, feds say," 6 Sep. 2019 Following the July incident, the Boeing 737-800 was taken out of service and sent for maintenance, which was when the foam was discovered, the Miami Herald reported. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "American Airlines mechanic sabotaged plane’s navigation system amid labor dispute, feds say," 6 Sep. 2019 The Corolla Hybrid is inexpensive to buy and own with simplified maintenance, such as 15-inch tires. San Diego Union-Tribune, "2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE: A versatile 52 mpg," 30 Aug. 2019 The two companies agreed that Walmart would lease or license its roof space to Tesla (TSLA) for the solar panels in exchange for lower energy costs, and Tesla would retain ownership of the panels and handle their maintenance, the filing states. Clare Duffy, CNN, "Walmart sues Tesla after it says solar panels caught fire on store roofs," 20 Aug. 2019 However, the purchase price doesn't include the price of maintenance and operation, which can costs thousands per flight hour. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "So...Can You Actually Buy an Old Warplane?," 20 Aug. 2019 The latest round of state funding will pay for an elevator mechanic, ongoing maintenance, and emergency repairs, state officials said. Michael Levenson,, "Pet projects buried in the Mass. budget: $227,610 for elevator maintenance and a trash-gobbling ‘watergoat’," 2 Aug. 2019 Another longstanding grouse of the sector was the high expenses incurred on maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of aircraft, which is currently mostly done overseas. Pramod Mathew, Quartz India, "In a quest to remain fiscally prudent, India’s budget stuck to the minimum," 6 July 2019 THE GH SEAL Miele’s Lumen EcoFlex is a powerful dishwasher that impresses our home-care experts with its heavy-duty cleaning power, easy maintenance, and genius features. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "GH Seal Spotlight: Miele Lumen EcoFlex Dishwasher," 28 June 2019

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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Statistics for maintenance

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maintenance

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

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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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Comments on maintenance

What made you want to look up maintenance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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