1

sustain

verb sus·tain \ sə-ˈstān \

Definition of sustain

transitive verb
1 :to give support or relief to
2 :to supply with sustenance :nourish
4 :to support the weight of :prop; also :to carry or withstand (a weight or pressure)
5 :to buoy up
  • sustained by hope
6 a :to bear up under
b :suffer, undergo
  • sustained heavy losses
7 a :to support as true, legal, or just
b :to allow or admit as valid
  • the court sustained the motion
8 :to support by adequate proof :confirm
  • testimony that sustains our contention

sustainedly

play \-ˈstā-nəd-lē, -ˈstānd-lē\ adverb

sustainer

noun

Examples of sustain in a Sentence

  1. Hope sustained us during that difficult time.

  2. The roof, unable to sustain the weight of all the snow, collapsed.

  3. The army sustained heavy losses.

  4. He sustained serious injuries in the accident.

Recent Examples of sustain from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of sustain

Middle English sustenen, from Anglo-French sustein-, stem of sustenir, from Latin sustinēre to hold up, sustain, from sub-, sus- up + tenēre to hold — more at sub-, thin


2

sustain

noun

Definition of sustain

:a musical effect that prolongs a note's resonance
  • utilizing heavy sustain on his guitar
  • —Bill Dahl

Recent Examples of sustain from the Web

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

First Known Use of sustain

1972


SUSTAIN Defined for English Language Learners

sustain

verb

Definition of sustain for English Language Learners

  • : to provide what is needed for (something or someone) to exist, continue, etc.

  • : to hold up the weight of (something)

  • : to deal with or experience (something bad or unpleasant)


SUSTAIN Defined for Kids

sustain

verb sus·tain \ sə-ˈstān \

Definition of sustain for Students

sustained; sustaining
1 :to provide with what is needed
  • Food sustains life.
2 :to keep up the spirits of
  • Hope sustained us.
3 :to keep up :prolong
  • This author's books sustain my interest.
4 :to hold up the weight of
  • The roof couldn't sustain the weight of the snow.
5 :2experience
  • The army sustained heavy losses.
6 :to allow or uphold as true, legal, or fair
  • The judge sustained the motion to dismiss the case.

Law Dictionary

sustain

transitive verb sus·tain \ sə-ˈstān \

legal Definition of sustain

1 :to support as true, legal, or just
2 :to allow or uphold as valid
  • sustain an objection
— compare overrule 1

sustainable

adjective


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