- to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.
- to bear (a burden, charge, etc.).
- to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endure without giving way or yielding.
- to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction.
- to keep up or keep going, as an action or process: to sustain a conversation.
- to supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life.
- to provide for (an institution or the like) by furnishing means or funds.
- to support (a cause or the like) by aid or approval.
- to uphold as valid, just, or correct, as a claim or the person making it: The judge sustained the lawyer's objection.
- to confirm or corroborate, as a statement: Further investigation sustained my suspicions.
Origin of sustain
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
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. carry. 3. bear. 5. maintain.
1. See support.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sustaining
We meet a worker named Joan, who tries to escape but is dragged back in after sustaining a gory walker bite on her arm.The Walking Dead’s ‘Slabtown’: The Real Source of Terror Isn’t Walkers, It’s Rape
November 3, 2014
Namely, he tried to fall on his sword without losing blood, sustaining a wound or suffering any pain.Roger Goodell’s TV Disaster Shows What’s Wrong With The NFL
September 19, 2014
They have a novelistic drive to them in which all of that research is integrated in a powerful and sustaining way.‘The Power Broker’ Turns 40: How Robert Caro Wrote a Masterpiece
September 16, 2014
It will dissipate support for building the coalition and sustaining its efforts over the coming years.Here's How to Dig Out of This 'Stupid Sh*t' U.S. Foreign Policy
Leslie H. Gelb
August 13, 2014
Still he carries on, sustaining yet another horrendous blow from Gautier that removes six inches of flesh from his shoulder.The ‘GOT’ Red Viper and Mountain Duel, and a History of Medieval Trial by Combat
June 3, 2014
This would be a sustaining capacity of 48 pounds per horsepower.
Power of sustentation; the quality of sustaining a weight in the air.
They might have fancied they were sustaining a siege, so great were the noise and the discomfort.Doctor Pascal
It was like the exhaustion of a battery, the collapse of the sustaining power.The Strollers
Frederic S. Isham
The great point is not to fail in ordering and sustaining the effort of our life.A Set of Six
- to hold up under; withstandto sustain great provocation
- to undergo (an injury, loss, etc); sufferto sustain a broken arm
- to maintain or prolongto sustain a discussion
- to support physically from below
- to provide for or give support to, esp by supplying necessitiesto sustain one's family; to sustain a charity
- to keep up the vitality or courage of
- to uphold or affirm the justice or validity ofto sustain a decision
- to establish the truth of; confirm
- music the prolongation of a note, by playing technique or electronics
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
Word Origin and History for sustaining
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper