main·​te·​nance | \ ˈmānt-nən(t)s How to pronounce maintenance (audio) , ˈmān-tə-nən(t)s \

Definition of maintenance

1 : the act of maintaining : the state of being maintained : support The building has suffered from years of poor maintenance.
2 : something that maintains at least half of them are living parasitically on the other half instead of producing maintenance for themselves— G. B. Shaw
3 : the upkeep of property or equipment the maintenance of the school
4 : an officious or unlawful intermeddling in a legal suit by assisting either party with means to carry it on

Examples of maintenance in a Sentence

Soon he could take an Underwood apart and put it together blindfolded, a trick that won him the account for maintenance of all the typewriters at Columbia-Presbyterian hospital … — Ian Frazier, Atlantic, November 1997 The building has suffered from years of poor maintenance. the costs of routine car maintenance maintenance of law and order money for the family's maintenance
Recent Examples on the Web Lastly, eastbound Loop 202's right two lanes will be closed between Kyrene Road and Loop 101 from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. for pavement maintenance. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 6 Aug. 2022 An antiques shop also brings in revenue for farm maintenance. cleveland, 5 Aug. 2022 The humidifier has a UV-C light that kills any potential bacteria buildup, and the device also has a self-cleaning mode for easy maintenance. Nicole Charky-chami, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 July 2022 Composting is a process that turns food scraps like carrot tops, moldy strawberries, eggshells, and lettuce heads into nutrient-rich dirt and fertilizer for gardening and houseplant maintenance. Sarah Madaus, SELF, 27 July 2022 Gazprom is requiring extensive documentation to verify that the turbines, sent to Canada for maintenance, do not violate sanctions. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 27 July 2022 Russia has been slow to restore the supply of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which connects Russia and Germany and was offline for several days this month for maintenance. Monika Pronczuk,, 26 July 2022 The Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany had been closed since July 11 for annual maintenance. Mstyslav Chernov, ajc, 21 July 2022 Russia began pumping gas again this week after a 10-day suspension for maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, but only at 40% of traditional levels. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of maintenance

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for maintenance

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from maintenir — see maintain

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Time Traveler for maintenance

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

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Dictionary Entries Near maintenance



maintenance bond

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Maintenance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for maintenance


main·​te·​nance | \ ˈmān-tə-nəns How to pronounce maintenance (audio) \

Kids Definition of maintenance

1 : the act of keeping or providing for : the state of being kept or provided for One of government's jobs is the maintenance of law and order. We collected money for the family's maintenance.
2 : upkeep Workers in charge of maintenance painted the building.


main·​te·​nance | \ ˈmānt-nən(t)s, -ᵊn-ən(t)s How to pronounce maintenance (audio) \

Medical Definition of maintenance

: designed or adequate to maintain a patient in a stable condition : serving to maintain a gradual process of healing or to prevent a relapse a maintenance dose maintenance chemotherapy



Legal Definition of maintenance

1a : the act of providing basic and necessary support
b : the state of having such support
2 : a financial means of providing necessary assistance: as
a : alimony
b : support
3 : the necessities of life provided for by payment of maintenance
4 : the upkeep of property or equipment
5 : unsought and unnecessary meddling in a lawsuit by assisting either party with means to carry it on — compare champerty

More from Merriam-Webster on maintenance

Nglish: Translation of maintenance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maintenance for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about maintenance


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