Definition of sustenance in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Food and drink regarded as a source of strength; nourishment.

    ‘poor rural economies turned to potatoes for sustenance’
    • ‘What a frenetic picture this conjures of a cartoon chase from aisle to car, with tottering piles of Christmas sustenance, food bought as if for a month-long siege instead of a few days off.’
    • ‘Insects serve as pollinators for food crops, nutritious sustenance for a range of birds and mammals, and decomposers of plant and animal products.’
    • ‘Over the next four days there was nothing for it but bed rest, regular doses of paracetamol washed down with water, and the occasional banana for sustenance.’
    • ‘I swear, if I find that it was emissions from my truck causing it, I will dig a hole in the backyard, climb in, and eat grubs for sustenance.’
    • ‘They steal the olives and destroy the olive trees - the village's main source of sustenance.’
    • ‘If the money's not spent on essentials like a €7 beef roll a decent investment if you need sustenance after a night drinking outdoors in Shop Street then it's gambled.’
    • ‘Two hours before boarding and it's into the junk food emporium upstairs for sustenance.’
    • ‘As Scottish children rely on low-grade processed foods and fizzy drinks for daily sustenance, the devastating effects are beginning to show.’
    • ‘However, when the two come together in a market-driven world, it can transform itself into the best source of sustenance especially for a television channel.’
    • ‘The craving for food, liquid sustenance, was so strong that when I was visualizing the food, I felt like I could reach out and grab them.’
    • ‘They were hard times but through it all Mae showed a remarkable resilient nature, aided by her deep faith from which she drew sustenance and strength.’
    • ‘Those living along the Genale River which borders Afder have turned to the palm trees for food, scraping sustenance from the dark brown seeds with their teeth.’
    • ‘I love Shakespeare and he is the source of absolute spiritual sustenance for me - yet here I couldn't hear his beautiful language and found it utterly distorted when I could.’
    • ‘After all this is the thing that you use to buy the food that gives you sustenance.’
    • ‘Further afield where camels browse, we found dried-up, and unyielding acacia trees, normally a reliable source of sustenance.’
    • ‘They inherited a tradition of faith and fatherland which gave them strength and sustenance wherever life took them.’
    • ‘Nature, for them, is not just a source of sustenance, but an intrinsic part of their lives.’
    • ‘Although it lives in a muddy place, a swan can pick up the right food for its sustenance.’
    • ‘That's their main source of alcoholic sustenance: five bottles of Bud, Miller, Becks or Stella Artois will get them through even the most punishing night out.’
    • ‘The perfect delivery method for food is unquestionably a sandwich - almost all sources of sustenance are improved by inclusion in such a meal.’
    nourishment, food, nutriment, nutrition, fare, diet, daily bread, provisions, rations, means of keeping body and soul together
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    1. 1.1The maintaining of someone or something in life or existence.
      ‘he kept two or three cows for the sustenance of his family’
      ‘the sustenance of parliamentary democracy’
      • ‘I am a happy man to have learnt that you have a faith of sorts - no one could recover so quickly without a source of spiritual sustenance.’
      • ‘These sad, determine men have found that their one-time hobby has become a must have matter of sustenance, like karmic nourishment for their soul.’
      • ‘Later in the night many would retire to Deros for tea and sandwiches to give them sustenance for the long cycle to some outlying parish.’
      • ‘It thought of the insects and vermin that it had fed on, the most meager of sustenance to maintain its life, but enough to eventually give it the strength to free it self.’
      • ‘Democracy's wellsprings and sustenance were of vital importance to Walter Duncan in 1962, just as they are to us today.’
      • ‘It was a source of sustenance, and nothing more.’
      • ‘Her faith was very much a central force in her life and was a source of guidance, strength and sustenance over the years.’
      • ‘The Association argued that this definition would include non-military assistance and humanitarian aid such as medical assistance, sustenance and disaster relief.’
      • ‘Too bad if those octogenarians served in World War II or Korea or just gave life and sustenance to their families and communities for several decades.’
      • ‘For people with binge eating disorder, at first food may provide sustenance or comfort, but later it's the focus of incredible guilt and distress.’
      • ‘We watch as the family boils wallpaper for sustenance from glue, chews leather from old schoolbags, grows so weak that Kolya can only stroke his toys, no longer strong enough to play with them.’
      • ‘Organic farming, various types of assistance to local families in need, and practical schemes for family sustenance became my immediate tasks.’
      • ‘Every individual has an input and part to play in the creation and sustenance of democracy.’
      • ‘Saddest of all, workers will continue to brave health and physical threats only to earn a meager amount of money to buy sustenance for their families.’
      • ‘There are many words, many lines, that stick and stay in my memory, that provide a certain comfort, connection, sustenance.’
      • ‘This last feature also had the unintended consequence of reducing the inflow of remittances form foreign workers, which has been an important source of sustenance of Pakistan's balance of payments.’
      • ‘After all, ‘the motivation of the cook to offer sustenance is as nourishing as the food prepared’.’
      • ‘People can and do draw sustenance from many sources.’
      • ‘There was only one source of sustenance for this kind of visual appetite in the textile town of Bohain-en-Vermandois, where Matisse spent his first twenty years.’
      • ‘The land they occupied, like that of their immediate neighbours, could provide no reliable source of income or sustenance and the threat of starvation and eviction hung constantly over their heads.’
      support, maintenance, keep, means of support, means, living, livelihood, subsistence, income, source of income
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Middle English: from Old French soustenance, from the verb soustenir (see sustain).