sus·​ten·​ta·​tion | \ ˌsə-stən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce sustentation (audio) , -ˌsten- \

Definition of sustentation

1 : the act of sustaining : the state of being sustained: such as
c : maintenance of life, growth, or morale
d : provision with sustenance
2 : something that sustains : support

Other Words from sustentation

sustentative \ ˈsə-​stən-​ˌtā-​tiv How to pronounce sustentation (audio) , sə-​ˈsten-​tə-​tiv \ adjective

Examples of sustentation in a Sentence

argues that a new toll is needed to pay for the long-term sustentation of the city's bridges the all-important sustentation of Mount Vernon, Monticello, and other national treasures

First Known Use of sustentation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sustentation

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin sustentation-, sustentatio act of holding up, from sustentare to hold up, frequentative of sustinēre to sustain

Learn More About sustentation

Time Traveler for sustentation

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near sustentation

sustentacular cell


sustentation fund

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sustentation

Cite this Entry

“Sustentation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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