Synonyms & Antonyms of maintain

1 to keep in good condition
  • he repairs and maintains antique cars as a hobby

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2 to continue to declare to be true or proper despite opposition or objections
  • part of debating is learning to maintain your position in the face of harsh challenges

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3 to pay the living expenses of
  • we simply cannot afford to maintain a horse

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4 to state (something) as a reason in support of or against something under consideration
  • she continued to maintain that a sewing machine would end up paying for itself since she could make her own clothes

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5 to state as a fact usually forcefully
  • he maintains that there is indeed hard evidence for extraterrestrial visitors

Synonyms for maintain

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Antonyms for maintain

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About maintain

How does the verb maintain differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of maintain are assert, defend, justify, and vindicate. While all these words mean "to uphold as true, right, just, or reasonable," maintain stresses firmness of conviction.

steadfastly maintained his innocence

When would assert be a good substitute for maintain?

Although the words assert and maintain have much in common, assert suggests determination to make others accept one's claim.

asserted her rights

When could defend be used to replace maintain?

In some situations, the words defend and maintain are roughly equivalent. However, defend implies maintaining in the face of attack or criticism.

defended his voting record

When is it sensible to use justify instead of maintain?

The words justify and maintain can be used in similar contexts, but justify implies showing to be true, just, or valid by appeal to a standard or to precedent.

the action was used to justify military intervention

In what contexts can vindicate take the place of maintain?

The meanings of vindicate and maintain largely overlap; however, vindicate implies successfully defending.

his success vindicated our faith in him

Learn More About maintain

Time Traveler for maintain

Time Traveler

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

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Thesaurus Entries Near maintain

Main Streets



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Cite this Entry

“Maintain.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on maintain

Nglish: Translation of maintain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maintain for Arabic Speakers


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