Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of maintain
Meaning of maintain by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Anglo-Norman maintenir, Old French maintenir, from Late Latin manutenere ( “support” ), from Latin manū ( “with the hand” ) + tenēre ( “hold” ) .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /meɪnˈteɪn/
    • Rhymes: -eɪn


    maintain ( third-person singular simple present maintains present participle maintaining, simple past and past participle maintained )

    1. ( obsolete, transitive ) To support ( someone ), to back up or assist ( someone ) in an action. [14th-19th c.]
      • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book XV:
        he wente oute of hys ermytaige for to maynteyne his nevew ayenste the myghty erle .
    2. To keep up; to preserve; to uphold ( a state, condition etc. ). [from 14th c.]
    3. To declare or affirm ( a clause ) to be true; to assert. [from 15th c.]

    Derived terms

    Related terms


    • amanitin

Explanation of maintain by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. stick to correctly or closely

    2. support against an opponent

    3. state categorically

    4. state or assert

    5. He maintained his innocence
    6. maintain by writing regular records

    7. maintain a record
    8. supply with necessities and support

    9. maintain for use and service

    10. have and exercise

    11. keep in safety and protect from harm, decay, loss, or destruction

    12. keep in a certain state, position, or activity

    Definition of maintain by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Maintain v. t. [imp. & p. p. Maintained ; p. pr. & vb. n. Maintaining.] [OE. maintenen, F. maintenir, properly, to hold by the hand; main hand ( L. manus ) + F. tenir to hold ( L. tenere ). See Manual, and Tenable.]
      1. To hold or keep in any particular state or condition; to support; to sustain; to uphold; to keep up; not to suffer to fail or decline; as, “to maintain a certain degree of heat in a furnace; to maintain a fence or a railroad; to maintain the digestive process or powers of the stomach; to maintain the fertility of soil; to maintain present reputation.”

      2. To keep possession of; to hold and defend; not to surrender or relinquish.

      God values . . . every one as he maintains his post. Grew.

      3. To continue; not to suffer to cease or fail.

      Maintain talk with the duke. Shak.

      4. To bear the expense of; to support; to keep up; to supply with what is needed.

      Glad, by his labor, to maintain his life. Stirling.

      What maintains one vice would bring up two children. Franklin.

      5. To affirm; to support or defend by argument.

      It is hard to maintain the truth, but much harder to be maintained by it. South.

      Syn. -- To assert; vindicate; allege. See Assert.