- 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 for on Thesaurus.com
1. See support.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sustainment
Can we men now on earth claim more of sustainment than lies in the incipient communion with those enfranchised souls?Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death
Frederick W. H. Myers
Now, the idea smote her softened heart that Wilfrid's passion might engulf her if she had no word of sustainment from Merthyr.Sandra Belloni, Complete
The mule had its backers, too; it was the gentler animal, they contended in sustainment of their preference.The Siege of Kimberley
They are not bettered by her sustainment; they have not, as women may have, her enaemic aid at a trying hour.One of Our Conquerors, Complete
In Priestley's case there was not merely a sustainment, but a positive advancement of character in later years.Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume I (of 2)
- 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 sustainment
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper