main·tain AW [maintain maintains maintained maintaining] BrE [meɪnˈteɪn] NAmE [meɪnˈteɪn] verb
1. ~ sth to make sth continue at the same level, standard, etc.
• to maintain law and order/standards/a balance
• The two countries have always maintained close relations.
• (formal) She maintained a dignified silence.
• to maintain prices (= prevent them falling or rising)
2. ~ sth to keep a building, a machine, etc. in good condition by checking or repairing it regularly
• The house is large and difficult to maintain.
3. to keep stating that sth is true, even though other people do not agree or do not believe it
• ~ (that)… The men maintained (that) they were out of the country when the crime was committed.
• ~ sth She has always maintained her innocence.
• + speech ‘But I'm innocent!’ she maintained.
4. ~ sb/sth to support sb/sth over a long period of time by giving money, paying for food, etc.
• Her income was barely enough to maintain one child, let alone three.
Middle English (also in the sense ‘practise an action habitually’): from Old French maintenir, from Latin manu tenere ‘hold in the hand’.
• We must maintain law and order.
keep sth up • • preserve • • sustain • • extend • • prolong • |especially spoken keep sth going • |formal perpetuate • |often disapproving, especially business prop sth up •
maintain/keep up/preserve/sustain standards/a relationship
maintain/keep up/sustain levels/rates/morale/interest/growth
maintain/preserve/sustain/extend/prolong (sb's) life
Maintain or sustain? Maintain is used especially to talk about keeping sth at its usual level for an unlimited period of time; sustain is used more to talk about keeping sth at a higher level than usual for a long but not unlimited period
• Is the role of the state simply to maintain the status quo?
• How long can such fast growth be sustained?
• The house and its grounds are beautifully maintained.
preserve • • service • • keep sth up •
maintain/preserve a house
maintain/service a/an car/appliance
have/keep sth maintained/preserved/serviced
Verbs for reporting an opinion
▪ Some critics argue ▪ that Picasso remained a great master all his life.
▪ Others maintain ▪ that there is a significant deterioration in quality in his post-war work.
▪ Picasso himself claimed ▪ that good art is created, but great art is stolen.
As ▪ Smith has noted ▪, Picasso borrowed imagery from African art.
As ▪ the author points out ▪, Picasso borrowed imagery from African art.
▪ The writer challenges the notion that ▪ Picasso's sculpture was secondary to his painting.
It has been suggested that ▪ Picasso's painting was influenced by jazz music.
Language Banks at about, according to
• His priority is to maintain and protect his family.
• Under the terms of the agreement she had forfeited her right to be maintained by her husband.
• Commercial aircraft generally maintain cabin altitudes between 6 000 and 8 000 feet.
• He emphasized the need to maintain the status quo.
• He has always maintained his innocence.
• He successfully maintained the financial health of the company.
• It is difficult to maintain that such a harsh punishment was justified.
• The company has easily maintained its position as the leading brand in the money-transfer business.
• The government's position became increasingly difficult to maintain.
• They are looking to cut costs while simultaneously maintaining the existing levels of service.
• This pace cannot be maintained indefinitely.
• We are anxious to maintain our close links with the police.
• a poorly maintained central heating system
• I do a lot of mechanical work and I maintain my own car.
• Our principle task is to maintain law and order.
• She has always maintained her innocence.
• The grounds are beautifully maintained.
• The wheel spats collect debris and make it difficult to maintain the brakes.
1. keep in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g., "keep clean"
- hold in place
- She always held herself as a lady
- The students keep me on my toes
Syn: keep, hold
- We preserve these archeological findings
- The old lady could not keep up the building
- children must be taught to conserve our national heritage
- The museum curator conserved the ancient manuscripts
Syn: conserve, preserve, keep up
3. supply with necessities and support
- She alone sustained her family
- The money will sustain our good cause
- There's little to earn and many to keep
Syn: sustain, keep
4. state categorically
Syn: assert, asseverate
- They maintain that there was a traffic accident
5. have and exercise
- wield power and authority
Syn: wield, exert
6. state or assert
- He maintained his innocence
7. maintain by writing regular records
- keep a diary
- maintain a record
- keep notes
8. maintain for use and service
- I keep a car in the countryside
- She keeps an apartment in Paris for her shopping trips
9. support against an opponent
- The appellate court upheld the verdict
10. stick to correctly or closely
- The pianist kept time with the metronome
- keep count
- I cannot keep track of all my employees
Syn: observe, keep
Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
|v. t.||1.||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.|
[imp. & p. p. Maintained
|2.||To keep possession of; to hold and defend; not to surrender or relinquish.|
God values . . . every one as he maintains his post.
|3.||To continue; not to suffer to cease or fail.|
Maintain talk with the duke.
|4.||To bear the expense of; to support; to keep up; to supply with what is needed.|
Glad, by his labor, to maintain his life.
What maintains one vice would bring up two children.
|5.||To affirm; to support or defend by argument.|
It is hard to maintain the truth, but much harder to be maintained by it.
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