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maintain

[meyn-teyn] /meɪnˈteɪn/
verb (used with object)
1.
to keep in existence or continuance; preserve; retain:
to maintain good relations with neighboring countries.
2.
to keep in an appropriate condition, operation, or force; keep unimpaired:
to maintain order; to maintain public highways.
3.
to keep in a specified state, position, etc.:
to maintain a correct posture; to maintain good health.
4.
to affirm; assert; declare:
He maintained that the country was going downhill.
5.
to support in speech or argument, as a statement or proposition.
6.
to keep or hold against attack:
to maintain one's ground.
7.
to provide for the upkeep or support of; carry the expenses of:
to maintain a family.
8.
to sustain or support:
not enough water to maintain life.
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English mainteinen < Old French maintenirMedieval Latin manūtenēre, Latin manū tenēre literally, to hold in hand, equivalent to manū, ablative of manus hand (see manual) + tenēre to hold (see tenet)
Related forms
maintainable, adjective
maintainability, noun
maintainer, noun
premaintain, verb (used with object)
self-maintained, adjective
self-maintaining, adjective
undermaintain, verb (used with object)
undermaintained, adjective
unmaintainable, adjective
unmaintained, adjective
well-maintained, adjective
Synonyms
1. continue. 1, 2. keep up. 4. asseverate. Maintain, assert, aver, allege, hold, state all mean to express an opinion, judgment, or position. Maintain carries the implications of both firmness and persistence in declaring or supporting a conviction: She maintained her client's innocence even in the face of damaging evidence. Assert suggests assurance, confidence, and sometimes aggressiveness in the effort to persuade others to agree with or accept one's position: He asserted again and again the government's right to control the waterway. Aver, like assert, implies confident declaration and sometimes suggests a firmly positive or peremptory tone; in legal use aver means “to allege as fact”: to aver that the evidence is incontrovertible. Allege indicates a statement without evidence to support it, and thus can imply doubt as to the validity or accuracy of an assertion: The official is alleged to have been unaware of the crime. Hold means simply to have or express a conviction or belief: We hold these truths to be self-evident; She held that her rights had been violated. State usually suggests a declaration that is forthright and unambiguous: He stated his reasons in clear, simple language. 5. uphold, defend, vindicate, justify. 7. See support.
Antonyms
1. discontinue. 5. contradict.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for maintain
  • Winton's intention is to maintain the countercultural spirit of the press.
  • If you find relationships challenging to cultivate and maintain, then you are in good company.
  • Smaller bodies are easier to feed, maintain and move.
  • To maintain a free society under ever-changing conditions, we must repledge ourselves to the conditions that make it work.
  • In turn, the mangroves trap sediment and maintain the clarity of the water so that the coral reefs can survive.
  • When you're publicly traded, you're expected to maintain sales levels.
  • This endeavour, that helps individuals maintain control, is to be applauded.
  • Only a skeleton crew will remain through the long, dark winter to maintain the scientific equipment and facilities infrastructure.
  • It is the staff, and only the staff, that will set and maintain standards.
  • Being a troubadour, he admits, has made it tough to maintain a conventional family life.
British Dictionary definitions for maintain

maintain

/meɪnˈteɪn/
verb (transitive)
1.
to continue or retain; keep in existence
2.
to keep in proper or good condition: to maintain a building
3.
to support a style of living: the money maintained us for a month
4.
(takes a clause as object) to state or assert: he maintained that Talbot was wrong
5.
to defend against contradiction; uphold: she maintained her innocence
6.
to defend against physical attack
Derived Forms
maintainable, adjective
maintainer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French maintenir, ultimately from Latin manū tenēre to hold in the hand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for maintain
v.

mid-13c., "to practice habitually," from Anglo-French meintenir (Old French maintenir, 12c.) "keep (a wife), sustain; persevere in, practice continually," from Latin manu tenere "hold in the hand," from manu, ablative of manus "hand" (see manual) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Meaning "to carry on, keep up" is from mid-14c.; that of "to keep oneself, to support" is from late 14c. Sense of "to defend in speech" is from mid-14c. Related: Maintained; maintaining; maintains.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for maintain

maintain

verb

To stay under control; to keep one's composure: While he gives this silly speech, I need to maintain


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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