- to keep in existence or continuance; preserve; retain: to maintain good relations with neighboring countries.
- to keep in an appropriate condition, operation, or force; keep unimpaired: to maintain order; to maintain public highways.
- to keep in a specified state, position, etc.: to maintain a correct posture; to maintain good health.
- to affirm; assert; declare: He maintained that the country was going downhill.
- to support in speech or argument, as a statement or proposition.
- to keep or hold against attack: to maintain one's ground.
- to provide for the upkeep or support of; carry the expenses of: to maintain a family.
- to sustain or support: not enough water to maintain life.
Origin of maintain
SynonymsSee more synonyms for maintain on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for maintain
Models in Israel will have to maintain a BMI of 18.5 or higher if they want to stay employed.How Skinny Is Too Skinny? Israel Bans ‘Underweight’ Models
January 8, 2015
While not all 86 million maintain positions of governance or public service, the Party's machinery runs on watchmaker precision.China’s Internet Is Freer Than You Think
December 27, 2014
There was really only one good reason to maintain the embargo: Trade with Cuba strengthens the Castros.Obama’s One Hand Clap With Castro
December 24, 2014
But if the goal is to maintain any hope—grim as it is— for serious negotiations leading to a two state solution.Why We Should Delay The Israel-Palestinian Peace Process
Aaron David Miller
December 19, 2014
The newly free country struggled to maintain order in the wake of independence, but it was woefully unprepared.The Congo's Forgotten Colonial Getaway
December 18, 2014
Prosperity and power—yes, they are important, and we must maintain them.
An integer or two would be more useful to maintain the integrity of the House.
Yet as a last resort to maintain the right, war is justifiable.An Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism
In this situation we concluded to maintain our garrison, if possible.The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone
I could not maintain the same calm in throwing off my hat and coat, and was vexed with myself for it.In the Valley
- to continue or retain; keep in existence
- to keep in proper or good conditionto maintain a building
- to support a style of livingthe money maintained us for a month
- (takes a clause as object) to state or asserthe maintained that Talbot was wrong
- to defend against contradiction; upholdshe maintained her innocence
- to defend against physical attack
Word Origin and History for maintain
mid-13c., "to practice habitually," from Anglo-French meintenir (Old French maintenir, 12c.) "keep (a wife), sustain; persevere in, practice continually," from Latin manu tenere "hold in the hand," from manu, ablative of manus "hand" (see manual) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Meaning "to carry on, keep up" is from mid-14c.; that of "to keep oneself, to support" is from late 14c. Sense of "to defend in speech" is from mid-14c. Related: Maintained; maintaining; maintains.