verb (used with object)
  1. to keep in existence or continuance; preserve; retain: to maintain good relations with neighboring countries.
  2. to keep in an appropriate condition, operation, or force; keep unimpaired: to maintain order; to maintain public highways.
  3. to keep in a specified state, position, etc.: to maintain a correct posture; to maintain good health.
  4. to affirm; assert; declare: He maintained that the country was going downhill.
  5. to support in speech or argument, as a statement or proposition.
  6. to keep or hold against attack: to maintain one's ground.
  7. to provide for the upkeep or support of; carry the expenses of: to maintain a family.
  8. to sustain or support: not enough water to maintain life.

Origin of maintain

1200–50; Middle English mainteinen < Old French maintenirMedieval Latin manūtenēre, Latin manū tenēre literally, to hold in hand, equivalent to manū, ablative of manus hand (see manual) + tenēre to hold (see tenet)
Related formsmain·tain·a·ble, adjectivemain·tain·a·bil·i·ty, nounmain·tain·er, nounpre·main·tain, verb (used with object)self-main·tained, adjectiveself-main·tain·ing, adjectiveun·der·main·tain, verb (used with object)un·der·main·tained, adjectiveun·main·tain·a·ble, adjectiveun·main·tained, adjectivewell-main·tained, adjective

Synonyms for maintain

1. continue. 1, 2. keep up. 4. asseverate. 5. uphold, defend, vindicate, justify.

Synonym study

4. Maintain, assert, aver, allege, hold, state all mean to express an opinion, judgment, or position. Maintain carries the implications of both firmness and persistence in declaring or supporting a conviction: She maintained her client's innocence even in the face of damaging evidence. Assert suggests assurance, confidence, and sometimes aggressiveness in the effort to persuade others to agree with or accept one's position: He asserted again and again the government's right to control the waterway. Aver, like assert, implies confident declaration and sometimes suggests a firmly positive or peremptory tone; in legal use aver means “to allege as fact”: to aver that the evidence is incontrovertible. Allege indicates a statement without evidence to support it, and thus can imply doubt as to the validity or accuracy of an assertion: The official is alleged to have been unaware of the crime. Hold means simply to have or express a conviction or belief: We hold these truths to be self-evident; She held that her rights had been violated. State usually suggests a declaration that is forthright and unambiguous: He stated his reasons in clear, simple language. 7. See support.

Antonyms for maintain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for well-maintained

Contemporary Examples of well-maintained

Historical Examples of well-maintained

British Dictionary definitions for well-maintained


verb (tr)
  1. to continue or retain; keep in existence
  2. to keep in proper or good conditionto maintain a building
  3. to support a style of livingthe money maintained us for a month
  4. (takes a clause as object) to state or asserthe maintained that Talbot was wrong
  5. to defend against contradiction; upholdshe maintained her innocence
  6. to defend against physical attack
Derived Formsmaintainable, adjectivemaintainer, noun

Word Origin for maintain

C13: from Old French maintenir, ultimately from Latin manū tenēre to hold in the hand
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 well-maintained



mid-13c., "to practice habitually," from Anglo-French meintenir (Old French maintenir, 12c.) "keep (a wife), sustain; persevere in, practice continually," from Latin manu tenere "hold in the hand," from manu, ablative of manus "hand" (see manual) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Meaning "to carry on, keep up" is from mid-14c.; that of "to keep oneself, to support" is from late 14c. Sense of "to defend in speech" is from mid-14c. Related: Maintained; maintaining; maintains.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper