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Webster 1913 Edition


Maintain

Main-tain

,
Verb.
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.
Shakespeare
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
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Maintain

MAINTA'IN

,
Verb.
T.
[L. manus and teneo.]
1.
To hold, preserve or keep in any particular state or condition; to support; to sustain; not to suffer to fail or decline; as, to maintain a certain degree of heat in a furnace; to maintain the digestive process or powers of the stomach; to maintain the fertility of soil; to maintain present character or reputation.
2.
To hold; to keep; not to lose or surrender; as, to maintain a place or post.
3.
To continue; not to suffer to cease; as, to maintain a conversation.
4.
To keep up; to uphold; to support the expense of; as, to maintain state or equipage.
What maintains one vice would bring up two children.
5.
To support with food, clothing and other conveniences; as, to maintain a family by trade or labor.
6.
To support by intellectual powers, or by force of reason; as, to maintain an argument.
7.
To support; to defend; to vindicate; to justify; to prove to be just; as, to maintain one's right or cause.
8.
To support by assertion or argument; to affirm.
In tragedy and satire, I maintain that this age and the last have excelled the ancients.

Definition 2021


maintain

maintain

English

Verb

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-19thc.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter j, in Le Morte Darthur, book XV:
      And thenne he asked leue & wente oute of his heremytage for to mayntene his neuewe ageynst the myghty Erle / and so hit happed that this man that lyeth here dede dyd so moche by his wysedome and hardynes that the Erle was take and thre of his lordes by force of this dede man
  2. To keep up; to preserve; to uphold (a state, condition etc.). [from 14thc.]
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 17, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      This time was most dreadful for Lilian. Thrown on her own resources and almost penniless, she maintained herself and paid the rent of a wretched room near the hospital by working as a charwoman, sempstress, anything. In a moment she had dropped to the level of a casual labourer.
    • 2011 November 5, Phil Dawkes, QPR 2-3 Man City”, in BBC Sport:
      Mancini's men were far from their best but dug in to earn a 10th win in 11 league games and an eighth successive victory in all competitions to maintain their five-point lead at the top of the table.
    • 2013 March 1, Nancy Langston, Mining the Boreal North”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 2, page 98:
      Reindeer are well suited to the taiga’s frigid winters. They can maintain a thermogradient between body core and the environment of up to 100 degrees, in part because of insulation provided by their fur, and in part because of counter-current vascular heat exchange systems in their legs and nasal passages.
  3. To declare or affirm (a clause) to be true; to assert. [from 15thc.]
    • 2012 April 19, Josh Halliday, Free speech haven or lawless cesspool – can the internet be civilised?”, in the Guardian:
      She maintains that the internet should face similar curbs to TV because young people are increasingly living online. "It's totally different, someone at Google watching the video from the comfort of their office in San Francisco to someone from a council house in London, where this video is happening right outside their front door."

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