Main*tain (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Maintained (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Maintaining.] [OE. maintenen, F. maintenir, properly, to hold by the hand; main hand (L. manus) + F. tenir to hold (L.tenere). See Manual, and Tenable.]


To hold or keep in any particular state or condition; to support; to sustain; to uphold; to keep up; not to suffer to fail or decline; as, to maintain a certain degree of heat in a furnace; to maintain a fence or a railroad; to maintain the digestive process or powers of the stomach; to maintain the fertility of soil; to maintain present reputation.


To keep possession of; to hold and defend; not to surrender or relinquish.

God values . . . every one as he maintains his post. Grew.


To continue; not to suffer to cease or fail.

Maintain talk with the duke. Shak.


To bear the expense of; to support; to keep up; to supply with what is needed.

Glad, by his labor, to maintain his life. Stirling.

What maintains one vice would bring up two children. Franklin.


To affirm; to support or defend by argument.

It is hard to maintain the truth, but much harder to be maintained by it. South.

Syn. -- To assert; vindicate; allege. See Assert.


© Webster 1913.

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