verb (used with object)
- to keep in existence or continuance; preserve; retain: to maintain good relations with neighboring countries.
- to keep in an appropriate condition, operation, or force; keep unimpaired: to maintain order; to maintain public highways.
- to keep in a specified state, position, etc.: to maintain a correct posture; to maintain good health.
- to affirm; assert; declare: He maintained that the country was going downhill.
- to support in speech or argument, as a statement or proposition.
- to keep or hold against attack: to maintain one’s ground.
- to provide for the upkeep or support of; carry the expenses of: to maintain a family.
- to sustain or support: not enough water to maintain life.
- to continue or retain; keep in existence
- to keep in proper or good conditionto maintain a building
- to support a style of livingthe money maintained us for a month
- (takes a clause as object) to state or asserthe maintained that Talbot was wrong
- to defend against contradiction; upholdshe maintained her innocence
- to defend against physical attack
v.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.