Definition for MAIN-TE-NANCE


  1. Sustenance; sustentation; support by means of supplies of food, clothing and other conveniences; as, his labor contributed little to the maintenance of his family.
  2. Means of support; that which supplies conveniences. Those of better fortune not making learning their maintenance. Swift.
  3. Support; protection; defense; vindication; as, the maintenance of right or just claims.
  4. Continuance; security from failure or decline. Whatever is granted to the church for God's honor and the maintenance of his service, is granted to God. South.
  5. In law, an officious intermeddling in a suit in which the person has no interest, by assisting either party with money or means to prosecute or defend it. This is a punishable offense. But to assist a poor kinsman from compassion, is not maintenance. Encyc.

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