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.
- sus·tain·a·ble, adjective
- sus·tain·ing·ly, adverb
- sus·tain·ment, noun
- non·sus·tain·ing, adjective
- un·sus·tain·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sustain in a sentence
Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work.9 questions about 2020’s record-breaking early vote, answered | Rani Molla | October 30, 2020 | Vox
Students need to understand that not only are they the benefactors of America’s history of democracy, but must sustain it going forward.Six ways adults can help children make sense of a divisive election | Phyllis Fagell | October 29, 2020 | Washington Post
To the researchers, this finding suggests that episodic memory—memory of specific past events—was weaker in the heavy media multitaskers, and that heavy media multitaskers have a lower ability to sustain attention.Heavy media multitasking might make you more forgetful | Kat Eschner | October 28, 2020 | Popular-Science
The new findings suggest that the moon’s water ice reserves are sustained in what are called “micro cold traps” that are just a centimeter or less in diameter.Water on the moon should be more accessible than we thought | Neel Patel | October 26, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
People need to double down on a level of precaution that can be sustained for months to come, keeping safe while not adding to their social isolation.Sick Of COVID-19? Here’s Why You Might Have Pandemic Fatigue | LGBTQ-Editor | October 24, 2020 | No Straight News
It drew sustainment from the dead hand in his grasp, and cowered down to the earth claiming all we touch.Lord Ormont and his Aminta, Complete | George Meredith
The mule had its backers, too; it was the gentler animal, they contended in sustainment of their preference.The Siege of Kimberley | T. Phelan
A right knowledge and apprehension of the past teaches humbleness and self-sustainment to the present.
Perhaps she now felt that food necessary to the sustainment of her fiendish designs.Lucretia, Complete | Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Emerson said that The Nation had “breadth, variety, self-sustainment, and an admirable style of thought and expression.”Historical Essays | James Ford Rhodes
British Dictionary definitions for sustain
to hold up under; withstand: to sustain great provocation
to undergo (an injury, loss, etc); suffer: to sustain a broken arm
to maintain or prolong: to sustain a discussion
to support physically from below
to provide for or give support to, esp by supplying necessities: to sustain one's family; to sustain a charity
to keep up the vitality or courage of
to uphold or affirm the justice or validity of: to sustain a decision
to establish the truth of; confirm
music the prolongation of a note, by playing technique or electronics
- sustained, adjective
- sustainedly (səˈsteɪnɪdlɪ), adverb
- sustaining, adjective
- sustainingly, adverb
- sustainment, noun
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