[ suhs-tuh n-tey-shuh n ]
/ ˌsʌs tənˈteɪ ʃən /


maintenance in being or activity; the sustaining of life through vital processes.
provision with means or funds for upkeep.
means of sustaining life; sustenance.

Origin of sustentation

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin sustentātiōn- (stem of sustentātiō) an upholding, equivalent to sustentāt(us) (past participle of sustentāre, frequentative of sustinēre to sustain) + -iōn- -ion

OTHER WORDS FROM sustentation

sus·ten·ta·tion·al, adjectivesus·ten·ta·tive [suhs-tuh n-tey-tiv, suh-sten-tuh-tiv] /ˈsʌs tənˌteɪ tɪv, səˈstɛn tə tɪv/, adjectiveself-sus·ten·ta·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sustentative

  • These causes may be conveniently divided as in the above diagram, into sustentative and non-sustentative.

    Applied Eugenics|Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson

British Dictionary definitions for sustentative

/ (ˌsʌstɛnˈteɪʃən) /


a less common word for sustenance

Word Origin for sustentation

C14: from Latin sustentātio, from sustentāre, frequentative of sustinēre 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