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


    Alternative forms


    From Middle English mayntenaunce, from Old French maintenance, from maintenir, from Latin manus tenere ( “to hold in the hand” ) .

    Note that maintain has undergone a sound and spelling change, hence spelt with -tain-, rather than the -ten- still found in maintenance .


    • ( Canada ) IPA: /ˈmeɪntɪnəns/
    • IPA: /ˈmeɪntənəns/, X-SAMPA: /"meInt@n@ns/


    maintenance ( plural: maintenances )

    1. Actions performed to keep some machine or system functioning or in service
    2. ( law ) A tort committed when a third party who does not have a bona fide interest in a lawsuit provides help or acquires an interest to a litigant's lawsuit .
    3. ( law ) A provision ordered to be made by way of periodical payments or a lump sum, as after a divorce for a spouse .

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Explanation of maintenance by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. activity involved in maintaining something in good working order

    2. the unauthorized interference in a legal action by a person having no interest in it ( as by helping one party with money or otherwise to continue the action ) so as to obstruct justice or promote unnecessary litigation or unsettle the peace of the community

    3. unlike champerty, criminal maintenance does not necessarily involve personal profit
    4. the act of sustaining life by food or providing a means of subsistence

    5. court-ordered support paid by one spouse to another after they are separated

    6. means of maintenance of a family or group

    Definition of maintenance by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Maintenance n. [OF. maintenance. See Maintain.]
      1. The act of maintaining; sustenance; support; defense; vindication.

      Whatsoever is granted to the church for God's honor and the maintenance of his service, is granted to God. South.

      2. That which maintains or supports; means of sustenance; supply of necessaries and conveniences.

      Those of better fortune not making learning their maintenance. Swift.

      3. ( Crim. Law ) An officious or unlawful intermeddling in a cause depending between others, by assisting either party with money or means to carry it on. See Champerty. Wharton.

      4. Those actions required for the care of machinery, a building, etc., to keep it clean and in proper functioning condition, and to prevent or forestall damage due to normal use.

      5. Payments, such as child support or alimony, to a dependent child not living with one or to a divorced wife.

      Cap of maintenance. See under Cap.