Origin: 1200–50; Middle English mainteinen Related forms
< Old French maintenir
≪ Medieval Latin manūtenēre, Latin manū tenēre
literally, to hold in hand, equivalent to manū,
ablative of manus
hand (see manual
) + tenēre
to hold (see tenet
pre·main·tain, verb (used with object)
un·der·main·tain, verb (used with object)
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
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.
1. discontinue. 5. contradict.