sustain

verb
sus·​tain | \ sə-ˈstān How to pronounce sustain (audio) \
sustained; sustaining; sustains

Definition of sustain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
6a : to bear up under
b : suffer, undergo sustained heavy losses
7a : 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

sustain

noun

Definition of sustain (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from sustain

Verb

sustainedly \ sə-​ˈstā-​nəd-​lē How to pronounce sustain (audio) , -​ˈstānd-​lē \ adverb
sustainer noun

Synonyms for sustain

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of sustain in a Sentence

Verb Hope sustained us during that difficult time. The roof, unable to sustain the weight of all the snow, collapsed. The army sustained heavy losses. He sustained serious injuries in the accident.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Here are a few items that help sustain high spirits in the most beautiful places on earth. Danielle Bernabe, Fortune, 29 May 2021 This private nonprofit is funded in part by admission fees which help sustain the sanctuary. Dallas News, 24 May 2021 The fall and winter seasons are full of potential hits, too, which could help sustain theaters for the rest of the year. Frank Pallotta, CNN, 7 May 2021 To help sustain the lie, Horowitz was duty bound to deliver another quickie Trump book within six months of the lost election. Ronald Radosh, The New Republic, 5 May 2021 And, the buildings owners believe, looking to the future will help sustain those numbers. Time, 30 Apr. 2021 Economists say that widespread vaccinations and declining viral cases, the reopening of more businesses, a huge infusion of federal spending and healthy job gains should help sustain steady growth. Martin Crutsinger And Paul Wiseman, Star Tribune, 29 Apr. 2021 Economists say that widespread vaccinations and declining viral cases, the reopening of more businesses, a huge infusion of federal spending and healthy job gains should help sustain steady growth. Martin Crutsinger And Paul Wiseman, Chron, 29 Apr. 2021 Economists say that widespread vaccinations, the reopening of more businesses, a huge infusion of federal spending and healthy job gains should help sustain steady growth. CBS News, 29 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And how can a company sustain that carbon reduction? Peter Bendor-samuel, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Drug busts for heroin and methamphetamine sustain a humming cottage industry of lawyers and bail bonds services. New York Times, 30 Apr. 2021 Economists credit billions of dollars in federal aid with helping sustain businesses through the heart of the pandemic. Mike Rogoway | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 16 May 2021 First, sustain production of aircraft carriers, destroyers, and both attack and ballistic-missile submarines . Jim Talent, National Review, 3 May 2021 Not only did her apartment sustain damage from the construction (it was repaired free of charge by the contractors), but the value of her home was almost certainly reduced. Ruth Bloomfield, WSJ, 14 Apr. 2021 Arlington ISD, which had 26 out of their 95 facilities sustain damage, had all but one school return to in-person instruction by March 2. Dallas News, 8 Mar. 2021 Their overall talent was never enough to achieve consistency or sustain momentum. Star Tribune, 6 Mar. 2021 Some smaller companies are also counting on more routine tourism to sustain sales. BostonGlobe.com, 20 Apr. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of sustain

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1972, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sustain

Verb

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

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Time Traveler for sustain

Time Traveler

The first known use of sustain was in the 13th century

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Statistics for sustain

Last Updated

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sustain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sustain. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for sustain

sustain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sustain

: to provide what is needed for (something or someone) to exist, continue, etc.
formal : to hold up the weight of (something)
formal : to deal with or experience (something bad or unpleasant)

sustain

verb
sus·​tain | \ sə-ˈstān How to pronounce sustain (audio) \
sustained; sustaining

Kids Definition of sustain

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 : experience entry 2 The army sustained heavy losses.
6 : to allow or uphold as true, legal, or fair The judge sustained the motion to dismiss the case.

sustain

transitive verb
sus·​tain | \ sə-ˈstān How to pronounce sustain (audio) \

Legal Definition of sustain

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

Other Words from sustain

sustainable adjective

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