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[meyn-tuh-nuh ns] /ˈmeɪn tə nəns/
the act of maintaining:
the maintenance of proper oral hygiene.
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.
Origin of maintenance
1275-1325; Middle English maintenaunce < Middle French maintenance. See maintain, -ance
Related forms
nonmaintenance, noun
premaintenance, noun
self-maintenance, noun
4. See living. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for maintenance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On the contrary, among hunting and fishing peoples, the labor of maintenance is decidedly interesting.

  • The maximum that could be drawn for maintenance was not less than seventy per cent.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • So the police rewards its officers by giving them licenses for the maintenance of disorderly houses.

    Woman and Socialism August Bebel
  • The Phenicians were very much in earnest about the maintenance of state and of religion.

    History of Religion Allan Menzies
  • When Parliament met again, the Commons insisted that the Lords should sign a declaration against the maintenance of criminals.

British Dictionary definitions for maintenance


the act of maintaining or the state of being maintained
a means of support; livelihood
(modifier) of or relating to the maintaining of buildings, machinery, etc: maintenance man
(law) (formerly unlawful) the interference in a legal action by a person having no interest in it, as by providing funds to continue the action See also champerty
(law) a provision ordered to be made by way of periodical payments or a lump sum, as after a divorce for a spouse
  1. the correction or prevention of faults in hardware by a programme of inspection and the replacement of parts
  2. the removal of existing faults and the modification of software in response to changes in specification or environment
Word Origin
C14: from Old French; see maintain
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 maintenance

mid-14c., "bearing, deportment," from Old French maintenance "upkeep; shelter, protection,: from maintenir (see maintain). Meaning "action of upholding or keeping in being" is from early 15c. "Action of providing a person with the necessities of life" is from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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maintenance in Medicine

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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maintenance in Technology

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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