[ suhs-tuh-nuh ns ]
/ ˈsʌs tə nəns /


means of sustaining life; nourishment.
means of livelihood.
the process of sustaining.
the state of being sustained.

Origin of sustenance

1250–1300; Middle English sustena(u)nce < Anglo-French; Old French sostenance. See sustain, -ance

Related forms

sus·te·nance·less, adjectivenon·sus·te·nance, nounself-sus·te·nance, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sustenance

British Dictionary definitions for sustenance


/ (ˈsʌstənəns) /


means of sustaining health or life; nourishment
means of maintenance; livelihood
Also: sustention (səˈstɛnʃən) the act or process of sustaining or the quality of being sustained

Word Origin for sustenance

C13: from Old French sostenance, from sustenir to sustain
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