the act of maintaining.
the state of being maintained: the maintenance of friendly relations with England.
care or upkeep, as of machinery or property: With proper maintenance the car will last for many years.
means of upkeep, support, or subsistence; livelihood: to provide a comfortable maintenance.
alimony or child support.
Law. an officious meddling in a suit in which the meddler has no interest, by assisting either party with means to prosecute or defend it.
Pharmacology, Psychiatry. administered to sustain a desired physiological or mental condition: maintenance dose.

1275–1325; Middle English maintenaunce < Middle French maintenance. See maintain, -ance

nonmaintenance, noun
premaintenance, noun
self-maintenance, noun

4. See living. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
maintenance (ˈmeɪntɪnəns)
1.  the act of maintaining or the state of being maintained
2.  a means of support; livelihood
3.  (modifier) of or relating to the maintaining of buildings, machinery, etc: maintenance man
4.  law See also champerty (formerly unlawful) the interference in a legal action by a person having no interest in it, as by providing funds to continue the action
5.  law a provision ordered to be made by way of periodical payments or a lump sum, as after a divorce for a spouse
6.  computing
 a.  the correction or prevention of faults in hardware by a programme of inspection and the replacement of parts
 b.  the removal of existing faults and the modification of software in response to changes in specification or environment
[C14: from Old French; see maintain]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1369, "bearing, deportment," from O.Fr. maintenance, from maintenir (see maintain). Meaning "action of upholding or keeping in being" is from 1413. "Action of providing a person with the necessities of life" is from 1389.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

maintenance main·te·nance (mān'tə-nəns)
The extent to which a patient continues good health practices without professional supervision, as distinguished from adherence or compliance.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Computing Dictionary

maintenance definition

The modification of a software product, after delivery, to correct faults, to improve performance or other attributes, or to adapt the product to a changed environment.
Maintenance is an important part of the software life-cycle. It is expensive in manpower and resources, and one of the aims of software engineering is to reduce its cost.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
Major construction and maintenance projects affecting through traffic are listed here.
Find detailed listings of road and weather conditions, as well as reports on construction and maintenance activities.
Low-maintenance kitchen and bath countertops are great alternatives to stone.
These plants are low maintenance and eye-catching.
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