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.
3. To continue; not to suffer to cease or fail. "Maintain talk with the duke." (Shak)
4. To bear the expense of; to support; to keep up; to supply with what is needed. "Glad, by his labour, to maintain his life." (Stirling) "What maintains one vice would bring up two children." (Franklin)
Origin: OE. Maintenen, F. Maintenir, properly, to hold by the hand; main hand (L. Manus) + F. Tenir to hold (L.tenere). See Manual, and Tenable.
(01 Mar 1998)
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