subsistence

[suh b-sis-tuh ns] /səbˈsɪs təns/
noun
1.
the state or fact of subsisting.
2.
the state or fact of existing.
3.
the providing of sustenance or support.
4.
means of supporting life; a living or livelihood.
5.
the source from which food and other items necessary to exist are obtained.
6.
Philosophy.
  1. existence, especially of an independent entity.
  2. the quality of having timeless or abstract existence.
  3. mode of existence or that by which a substance is individualized.
Origin
1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin subsistentia; see subsist, -ence
Related forms
intersubsistence, noun
nonsubsistence, noun
presubsistence, noun
self-subsistence, noun
Can be confused
subsidence, subsistence.
Synonyms
3. survival, maintenance, nourishment.
British Dictionary definitions for selfsubsistence
subsistence (səbˈsɪstəns)
 
n
1.  the means by which one maintains life
2.  the act or condition of subsisting
3.  a thing that has real existence
4.  the state of being inherent
5.  philosophy See also nonbeing an inferior mode of being ascribed to the references of general terms which do not in fact exist

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin and History for selfsubsistence
subsistence
early 15c., "existence, independence," from L.L. subsistentia "substance, reality," from L. subsistens, prp. of subsistere "stand still or firm," from sub "under, up to" + sistere "to assume a standing position," from stare "to stand" (see assist). Properly a loan-translation of Gk. hypostasis "subsistence," lit. "anything placed under." Meaning "provision of support for animal life" is from 1640s. Subsist (v.) is attested from 1540s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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