Definition of maintain in English:



  • 1Cause or enable (a condition or state of affairs) to continue.

    ‘the need to maintain close links between industry and schools’
    • ‘He blamed the residents' poor health on the lack of measures to maintain sanitary conditions in the mining field.’
    • ‘She has suggested set standards that should be maintained to ensure outbreaks do not occur.’
    • ‘Metal also maintains its structural integrity even when wind speeds reach hurricane levels.’
    • ‘You are able to maintain stability in professional situations and retain a position of authority!’
    • ‘It will try to ensure that the right conditions are maintained to stimulate continued growth in the sector.’
    • ‘The dance performance just set the mood and the momentum was well maintained with a series of items.’
    • ‘One must, he told me, always maintain a harmonious balance among these.’
    • ‘Predictably, the conditions of the American movements could not be maintained for any period of time.’
    • ‘The production by Nicolas Kent and Sacha Wares scrupulously maintains this balance between the local and the general.’
    • ‘The government plans to maintain its control long enough to restore its profitability then sell it off to big business.’
    • ‘He added that pressure needed to be maintained to ensure the plan was delivered.’
    • ‘Governments don't always maintain the integrity of the sites they own.’
    • ‘They fell still, if only for a moment, in deference, but could not maintain their composure long.’
    • ‘Live colonies and their gardens were maintained at room temperature in artificial colony chambers.’
    • ‘While spectacular, the architecture also maintains a harmonious balance with the superb exhibition content.’
    • ‘Their intimidation tactics too often succeed, and the rental board authorities only maintain their status quo.’
    • ‘Strict control should be maintained to ensure as far as possible the safety of men and women.’
    • ‘It is hoped that a dialogue with the Trust can be maintained and that the situation will be resolved fairly.’
    • ‘Pupae were transferred to adult cohort cages maintained under optimal environmental conditions.’
    • ‘Sino-Japanese cooperation will undoubtedly continue to aid in maintaining peace and stability in the Korean peninsula.’
    continue, keep, keep going, keep up, keep alive, keep in existence, carry on, preserve, conserve, prolong, perpetuate, sustain, prop up, retain, support, bear
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    1. 1.1Keep (something) at the same level or rate.
      ‘agricultural prices will have to be maintained’
      • ‘The Council said if the current rate of development was maintained in excess of 300 million would be received over a seven-year period.’
      • ‘Conceived in 1997, the agency has maintained an impressive growth rate of 40 per cent per annum.’
      • ‘The increase was maintained for a period of more than 20 min.’
      • ‘The vast majority of companies are either increasing employment or maintaining it at current levels.’
      • ‘A high level of humidity is maintained in the chamber.’
      • ‘Tissue storage records should document that refrigerated grafts are maintained at a certain temperature.’
      • ‘The coliseum looks unbelievably real, and I can't believe the level of detail we were able to attain while maintaining a fast frame rate.’
      • ‘It is vital that this high level of confidence is maintained.’
      • ‘In between meals she maintains her sugar levels by eating a piece of fruit or vegetable sticks.’
      • ‘The slides were air dried after sorting and maintained at room temperature until use.’
      • ‘ACT is opposed to maintaining income tax rates at their present level when the Government has nearly an $8 billion surplus.’
      • ‘The rate of dextrose infusion needed to maintain stable blood glucose levels was monitored.’
      • ‘Respiratory rate was adjusted to maintain minute volume at prerandomization levels.’
      • ‘Its high potassium, phosphorus and calcium help maintain high energy levels.’
      • ‘The dedicated fans maintained their frenzy levels all night, making it near impossible to take photos.’
      • ‘They excelled at the highest level and always maintained a high standard of sportsmanship.’
      • ‘Wardens at English Heritage properties will maintain summer staffing levels to cope with the extra week of additional visitors.’
      • ‘Many retailers have only maintained sales levels by significantly reducing gross margins.’
      • ‘Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and maintain at a simmer.’
      • ‘Drug addiction in Shanghai has maintained a rapid growth rate, with the number of young drug-takers growing the fastest.’
    2. 1.2Keep (a building, machine, or road) in good condition or in working order by checking or repairing it regularly.
      • ‘The boxes were maintained in a glasshouse and watered daily.’
      • ‘The operator will have responsibility for building and maintaining the M1 roadway scheme over a 30-year period.’
      • ‘Money is also needed to maintain existing defences and pay for better flood forecasting.’
      • ‘All the records of the activities are maintained on a regular basis.’
      • ‘The School house will continue to be maintained in its present condition with no alterations to the present structure.’
      • ‘In the meantime it would repair and maintain the crumbling buildings.’
      • ‘Neither side has the time or interest to maintain roads and buildings.’
      • ‘The gardens which surround Ambleside have been very well maintained by the current owners.’
      • ‘Mark describes himself as a ‘grease monkey’, responsible for maintaining the machines in the factory.’
      • ‘It's worth stopping by to check out the meticulously maintained vintage wheels.’
      • ‘He notes that the building is maintained in good condition.’
      • ‘They all have their place in today's world, but unfortunately computers cannot repair and maintain homes.’
      • ‘On top of these figures, council continues to service loans for the library facilities and maintain the buildings.’
      • ‘Local school boards are also looking for funds to maintain existing facilities and build new ones.’
      • ‘Other old farm buildings are maintained / repaired as necessary to enhance and blend in old with new.’
      • ‘Money raised from its sale will go towards maintaining Castle Howard.’
      • ‘The property has been well maintained by the current owners and comes to the market in walk-in condition.’
      • ‘Costs to maintain existing equipment and code will begin to cost more than buying new systems.’
      • ‘Was the upkeep of the Breakfast Shed fully maintained by the vendors or was it subsidised by my taxes?’
      • ‘The innkeeper smiled at her when she appeared in the kitchen, and offered her a regular job maintaining his barn.’
      keep in good condition, keep in repair, keep up, service, rebuild, conserve, preserve, keep intact, care for, take good care of, look after
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  • 2Provide with necessities for life or existence.

    ‘the allowance covers the basic costs of maintaining a child’
    • ‘They were maintained under standard conditions and were fed standard food and water ad libitum.’
    • ‘The horses were maintained on this diet throughout the study.’
    • ‘Animals were maintained on a standard laboratory diet.’
    support, provide for, keep, finance
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    1. 2.1Keep (a military unit) supplied with equipment and other requirements.
      • ‘Fixing a hollow force turned out to be a lot more expensive than just maintaining an adequate military.’
      • ‘Ankara maintains a 30,000 strong military force in northern Cyprus and continues to wield significant influence there.’
      • ‘This meant that huge armies could be maintained at a fraction of the cost of a standing (full of active duty troops) army.’
      • ‘At the macrolevel, we won the Cold War by engaging in a long-term expenditure of resources while maintaining a large standing military.’
      • ‘In my humble view, the current mobilizations are a reminder of exactly why we maintain an Army reserve.’
      • ‘And I think, in the end, the secretary is going to agree on many of our major points on maintaining the critical military base.’
      • ‘The country maintains a large military force of 376,000 active and 1,657,000 reserve personnel.’
      • ‘Even in peacetime, the day-to-day froth of maintaining a ready Army consumes an officer's intellectual capital.’
      • ‘As a result, Sweden maintains three specialized units that can respond to this specific threat.’
      • ‘For example, could military forces have been maintained in the region throughout the summer?’
      • ‘Each major political regime maintained its own separate military apparatus.’
      • ‘Plus, our reserve units are maintained and led by officers on active duty, not reserve officers, in peacetime.’
      • ‘However, like any military force today, maintaining a modern, well-equipped, and ready armed force is a challenge.’
      • ‘Lack of funding hampered the force, for without money or men it could not maintain units.’
      • ‘We will maintain the necessary military forces in the country for so long as is required.’
      • ‘Please let us know of your efforts to help train and maintain the Military Intelligence Corps.’
      support, provide for, keep, finance
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    2. 2.2archaic Give one's support to; uphold.
      ‘the king swears he will maintain the laws of God’
      • ‘Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the laws of God?’
      uphold, defend, fight for, champion, support, back, advocate
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  • 3[reporting verb] State something strongly to be the case; assert.

    [with object] ‘he has always maintained his innocence’
    [with clause] ‘he had persistently maintained that he would not stand against his old friend’
    [with direct speech] ‘“It was not an ideology at all,” she maintained’
    • ‘Steele consistently maintained this position, during legal testimony, media appearances and in FBI interviews.’
    • ‘He always maintained he acted in self-defence.’
    • ‘The Board had always been maintaining that it would abide by the court verdict, whatever it might be.’
    • ‘He persistently maintains that he has changed his ways and his getting on with his life.’
    • ‘The Government has consistently maintained a position in favour of New Zealand's antinuclear status for some 20 years now.’
    • ‘He's steadfastly maintained his innocence, claiming that hackers used his computer to commit the crimes.’
    • ‘Ted had always maintained that aliens abducted her.’
    • ‘He has steadfastly maintained his innocence since his arrest in 1981.’
    • ‘I have always maintained that all protests should be acted upon so a precedent and case study is set for the future.’
    • ‘Intentionally or not, this is a position McGann has consistently maintained.’
    • ‘He maintained that his position was one of pragmatism rather than principle.’
    • ‘Third, the idea/expression distinction should be strongly and vigorously maintained.’
    • ‘The Sheffield Brightside MP accepted the report last night, maintaining he had always ‘told the truth as I knew it’.’
    • ‘Stinchcomb considered these septate forms a distinct family and the authors maintain that position.’
    • ‘He maintains that he always upheld the constitution and the norms of democracy.’
    • ‘We acknowledge that they will be maintaining that position, but we disagree with it.’
    • ‘The Association has consistently maintained this position ever since.’
    • ‘Mrs Gaskin maintains that her husband always had access to their two children who had visited him regularly in jail.’
    • ‘Nothing about their philosophical positions requires them to maintain that extreme view.’
    • ‘She steadfastly maintained her innocence.’
    declare, assert, protest, state, aver, say, announce, affirm, avow, profess, claim, allege, contend, argue, hold to
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Middle English (also in the sense practice (a good or bad action) habitually): from Old French maintenir, from Latin manu tenere hold in the hand.