[ suhb-sis-tuhns ]
/ səbˈsɪs təns /


the state or fact of subsisting.
the state or fact of existing.
the providing of sustenance or support.
means of supporting life; a living or livelihood.
the source from which food and other items necessary to exist are obtained.
  1. existence, especially of an independent entity.
  2. the quality of having timeless or abstract existence.
  3. mode of existence or that by which a substance is individualized.

Origin of subsistence

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin subsistentia; see subsist, -ence

SYNONYMS FOR subsistence

Related forms

in·ter·sub·sist·ence, nounnon·sub·sist·ence, nounpre·sub·sist·ence, nounself-sub·sist·ence, noun

Can be confused

subsidence subsistence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-subsistence

British Dictionary definitions for self-subsistence


/ (səbˈsɪstəns) /


the means by which one maintains life
the act or condition of subsisting
a thing that has real existence
the state of being inherent
philosophy an inferior mode of being ascribed to the references of general terms which do not in fact existSee also nonbeing
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