Definition for MAIN-TAIN

MAIN-TAIN, v.t. [Fr. maintenir; main, hand, and tenir, to hold; L. manus and teneo.]

  1. To hold, preserve or keep in any particular state or condition; to support; to sustain; not to suffer to fail or decline; as, to maintain a certain degree of heat in a furnace; to maintain the digestive process or powers of the stomach; to maintain the fertility of soil; to maintain present character or reputation.
  2. To hold; to keep; not to lose or surrender; as, to maintain a place or post.
  3. To continue; not to suffer to cease; as, to maintain a conversation.
  4. To keep up; to uphold; to support the expense of; as, to maintain state or equipage. What maintains one vice would bring up two children. Franklin.
  5. To support with food, clothing and other conveniences; as, to maintain a family by trade or labor.
  6. To support by intellectual powers, or by force of reason; as, to maintain an argument.
  7. To support; to defend; to vindicate, to justify; to prove to be just; as, to maintain one's right or cause.
  8. To support by assertion or argument; to affirm. In tragedy and satire, I maintain that this age and the last have excelled the ancients. Dryden.

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