[meyn-tuh-nuh ns]



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 formsnon·main·te·nance, nounpre·main·te·nance, nounself-main·te·nance, noun

Synonym study

4. See living. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for maintenance

Contemporary Examples of maintenance

Historical Examples of maintenance

  • The maximum that could be drawn for maintenance was not less than seventy per cent.


    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.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • And if I am to estimate the penalty fairly, I should say that maintenance in the Prytaneum is the just return.



  • 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, etcmaintenance 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 actionSee 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 for maintenance

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

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

maintenance in Medicine




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.