sustenance

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

Definition of sustenance

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

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Synonyms for sustenance

Synonyms

aliment, food, nourishment, pabulum

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

These organisms necessarily require little sustenance to generate energy. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Vast Ecosystem of Underground Organisms Holds More Life Than Earth's Oceans," 11 Dec. 2018 The first part of the Avengers: Endgame trailer finds Iron Man drifting in space and running out of sustenance and oxygen, sort of like The Martian if the Martian were a sad and beat-up Tony Stark. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "How the Avengers: Endgame trailer hints that Captain Marvel will save the day (and Iron Man)," 8 Dec. 2018 In the midst of London Fashion Week, a four-day spree that underlines the need for equal parts satiating and fortifying sustenance, here Mills provides a beginner's guide to going plant-based. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "A Beginner's Guide to Plant-Based Eating With Deliciously Ella," 15 Sep. 2018 The plant is the only host for their eggs and sole sustenance for the caterpillars, which feed on milky secretions from the leaves. Calvin Woodward, Fox News, "A makeover for milkweed, for the sake of butterflies," 31 July 2018 More than mere sustenance, food is a surreptitious means of introducing serious subjects. Alex Bhattacharji, WSJ, "David Chang’s Culinary Universe Is Still Growing," 2 Nov. 2018 With their tasty snack wraps and addictive Mountain Dew drinks, Taco Bell is, hands down, one of your top sources of sustenance during those long study seshes. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "Introducing The Starburst Freeze, Taco Bell's New Frozen Drink (And Best Thing Ever!)," 10 Oct. 2014 While medieval Europeans relied on dairy products for their sustenance, raw milk remained dangerous. Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, "The Surprisingly Intolerant History of Milk," 11 May 2018 And that was the sum total of sustenance that was available to their family. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Pence’s tone toward refugees may be softer than Trump’s but that’s where the difference ends," 16 Apr. 2018

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.

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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

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Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for sustenance

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

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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.

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