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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
Synonym Study
4. See living. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for maintenance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The maximum that could be drawn for maintenance was not less than seventy per cent.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • As it is, I look to the Excise scheme as a certainty of maintenance; a maintenance!

  • Sergeant Walters and the rest of the maintenance crew were standing there.

    Dogfight--1973 Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • And if I am to estimate the penalty fairly, I should say that maintenance in the Prytaneum is the just return.

    Apology Plato
  • The Phenicians were very much in earnest about the maintenance of state and of religion.

    History of Religion

    Allan Menzies
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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