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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 of subsistence
late Middle English
1400-1450
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for subsistence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The father seems to have been dead, and the poor mother begged for subsistence for herself and daughter.

  • In this cupboard the grandfather kept everything that he needed for his subsistence.

    Heidi Johanna Spyri
  • Where subsistence was scant, accumulation was at least slow.

    The Quest for a Lost Race Thomas E. Pickett
  • I can see no difficulty in our procuring a subsistence here.

    The Desert Home Mayne Reid
  • There the means of subsistence were founded upon slavery and plunder; here they should be drawn from free industry.

    Essays on Political Economy Frederic Bastiat
British Dictionary definitions for subsistence

subsistence

/səbˈsɪstəns/
noun
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) an inferior mode of being ascribed to the references of general terms which do not in fact exist See also nonbeing
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 subsistence
n.

early 15c., "existence, independence," from Late Latin subsistentia "substance, reality," from Latin subsistens, present participle of subsistere "stand still or firm," from sub "under, up to" (see sub-) + sistere "to assume a standing position," from stare "to stand" (see assist). Properly a loan-translation of Greek hypostasis "subsistence," literally "anything placed under." Meaning "provision of support for animal life" is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
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