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sustain

[suh-steyn] /səˈsteɪn/
verb (used with object)
1.
to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.
2.
to bear (a burden, charge, etc.).
3.
to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endure without giving way or yielding.
4.
to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction.
5.
to keep up or keep going, as an action or process:
to sustain a conversation.
6.
to supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life.
7.
to provide for (an institution or the like) by furnishing means or funds.
8.
to support (a cause or the like) by aid or approval.
9.
to uphold as valid, just, or correct, as a claim or the person making it:
The judge sustained the lawyer's objection.
10.
to confirm or corroborate, as a statement:
Further investigation sustained my suspicions.
Origin of sustain
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English suste(i)nen < Anglo-French sustenir, Old French < Latin sustinēre to uphold, equivalent to sus- sus- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre to hold
Related forms
sustainable, adjective
sustainedly
[suh-stey-nid-lee, -steynd-] /səˈsteɪ nɪd li, -ˈsteɪnd-/ (Show IPA),
adverb
sustainingly, adverb
sustainment, noun
nonsustained, adjective
nonsustaining, adjective
presustained, adjective
unsustained, adjective
unsustaining, adjective
well-sustained, adjective
Synonyms
1. carry. See support. 3. bear. 5. maintain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sustainment
Historical Examples
  • In Priestley's case there was not merely a sustainment, but a positive advancement of character in later years.

  • Can we men now on earth claim more of sustainment than lies in the incipient communion with those enfranchised souls?

  • Now, the idea smote her softened heart that Wilfrid's passion might engulf her if she had no word of sustainment from Merthyr.

    Sandra Belloni, Complete George Meredith
  • The mule had its backers, too; it was the gentler animal, they contended in sustainment of their preference.

  • They are not bettered by her sustainment; they have not, as women may have, her enaemic aid at a trying hour.

  • The lace was an heirloom, like her rings, and the contemplation of them may have afforded her some sustainment.

    Adrienne Toner Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • Perhaps she now felt that food necessary to the sustainment of her fiendish designs.

    Lucretia, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for sustainment

sustain

/səˈsteɪn/
verb (transitive)
1.
to hold up under; withstand: to sustain great provocation
2.
to undergo (an injury, loss, etc); suffer: to sustain a broken arm
3.
to maintain or prolong: to sustain a discussion
4.
to support physically from below
5.
to provide for or give support to, esp by supplying necessities: to sustain one's family, to sustain a charity
6.
to keep up the vitality or courage of
7.
to uphold or affirm the justice or validity of: to sustain a decision
8.
to establish the truth of; confirm
noun
9.
(music) the prolongation of a note, by playing technique or electronics
Derived Forms
sustained, adjective
sustainedly (səˈsteɪnɪdlɪ) adverb
sustaining, adjective
sustainingly, adverb
sustainment, noun
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin sustinēre to hold up, from sub- + tenēre to hold
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 sustainment

sustain

v.

late 13c., from Old French sustenir "hold up, endure," from Latin sustinere "hold up, support, endure," from sub "up from below" (see sub-) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Related: Sustained; sustaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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