sustenance

noun
sus·te·nance | \ ˈsə-stə-nən(t)s \

Definition of sustenance 

1a : means of support, maintenance, or subsistence : living

b : food, provisions also : nourishment

2a : the act of sustaining : the state of being sustained

b : a supplying or being supplied with the necessaries of life

3 : something that gives support, endurance, or strength

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for sustenance

Synonyms

food, nourishment, pabulum

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of sustenance in a Sentence

Tree bark provides deer with sustenance in periods of drought. The village depends on the sea for sustenance. She draws spiritual sustenance from daily church attendance.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Misteka Foods, Table for Twelve, and Kupcakes & Co. all brought food and snacks to the store for anybody who walked in looking for some sustenance or a place to relax. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "As waters receded in Catonsville, Oella, neighbors lent each other a hand," 31 May 2018 Between West 15th and 16th streets: Food carts huddle inside the Chelsea Market Passage, a covered thoroughfare with seating and global sustenance. Andrea Sachs, chicagotribune.com, "Take a walk on New York's High Line from end-to-end," 2 July 2018 The folks congregating by the gazebo avoid a sprinkler system to come pray and receive some sustenance. Benjamin Oreskes, www.latimes.com, "Many people work hard to avoid the homeless. These volunteers embrace them," 7 June 2018 There is no warren for you, no place underground to eat the soft pellets from your bottom that bring sustenance once again, like memories do, no place to rest and tell stories. Peter Rock, New York Times, "On the Unsettling Allure of ‘Watership Down’," 15 May 2018 The former is perhaps best known for being the last step in finalizing a massive hangover as well as the intended destination of a hungry duo seeking late-night sustenance. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "A different kind of regret: Trying White Castle’s new Impossible Slider," 13 Apr. 2018 These trenches hold on to nutrients and moisture—and when the weather gets scorching, plants draw on the deeper topsoil for sustenance. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Heat Wave is Revealing Centuries-Old Sites in Wales," 11 July 2018 As with earlier challenges Mrs. Lange had faced, the Episcopal Church offered sustenance. Bryan Marquard, BostonGlobe.com, "Ida Lange, at 78; from a fraught childhood she became a community leader and her husband’s muse," 28 May 2018 The vapor accompanying these particles was mostly water but contained trace amounts of simple organic compounds, as well as carbon dioxide and ammonia—all ingredients important for the sustenance and even origin of life. Carolyn Porco, Scientific American, "Cassini at Saturn: A Retrospective," 1 Oct. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of sustenance

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sustenance

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from sustenir

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sustenance

Share sustenance

Statistics for sustenance

Last Updated

2 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sustenance

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sustenance

sustenance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sustenance

: something (such as food) that keeps someone or something alive

: something that gives support, help, or strength

sustenance

noun
sus·te·nance | \ ˈsə-stə-nəns \

Kids Definition of sustenance

2 : the act of supplying with the necessities of life

3 : support entry 2 sense 2 God is our sustenance in time of trouble.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sustenance

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!