Definition of maintenance in US English:



  • 1The process of maintaining or preserving someone or something, or the state of being maintained.

    ‘crucial conditions for the maintenance of democratic government’
    • ‘Chronic conditions may need ongoing maintenance.’
    • ‘I imagine that in the field of self preservation, or maintenance, I am Everyman.’
    • ‘Besides, there are other issues such as planning, execution, maintenance and preservation of greenery in Chennai.’
    • ‘But there are no guarantees for any of the sacked workers on pensions, re-employment or maintenance of wages and conditions of work.’
    • ‘Swindon Council contractors carry out general maintenance, including the grass-cutting, but volunteers do everything else.’
    • ‘People must know that they all can have a say in the preservation and maintenance of this way of life.’
    • ‘Elitism, on the contrary, is the denigration of art and its consequent maintenance as the preserve of an affluent and educated minority.’
    • ‘Our graphs will therefore be of acquisition, maintenance, and related conditions.’
    • ‘The crucial role played by rhetoric and the aesthetic in the making, maintenance, and continuation of law has been investigated in recent years by Peter Goodrich.’
    • ‘It still belongs to the landowner, who will continue to pay for its upkeep maintenance and conservation.’
    • ‘Performing maintenance under such trying conditions was also a challenge.’
    • ‘The main emphasis of this section of the competition will be a high level of maintenance and a secondary aim would be to encourage the preservation of traditional features.’
    • ‘The front walls were also painted and grass maintenance continues to be carried out every two weeks.’
    • ‘You are practical and nurturing in chaotic situations where order and maintenance is needed.’
    • ‘Conditions for the selective maintenance of stable polymorphisms by antagonistic pleiotropy are quite restrictive.’
    • ‘This increase in system maintenance quickly created stock-out conditions in the supply system.’
    • ‘Its goals are chiefly maintenance and preservation of Aboriginal cultures for future generations.’
    • ‘And why it exists at all, how it exists, the conditions for its maintenance, are very interesting problems.’
    • ‘Experts say that the situation would not turn so critical every summer if proper maintenance is carried out and the distribution system is kept in good shape.’
    • ‘This maintenance was preserved during the 10 minute BR-training.’
    preservation, conservation, continuation, continuance, continuity, keeping up, carrying on, prolongation, perpetuation
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    1. 1.1 The process of keeping something in good condition.
      ‘car maintenance’
      as modifier ‘essential maintenance work’
      • ‘As well as the withdrawal of suspensions, the employees want better working conditions and improved vehicle maintenance.’
      • ‘I am pleased to inform Mrs Powell the centre has reopened after some essential maintenance work.’
      • ‘The craftsmen at the Carrollton Barn are some of the nation's foremost experts in streetcar preservation and maintenance.’
      • ‘Keeping a tree in good condition through proper maintenance can prevent many environmentally related health problems.’
      • ‘Essential maintenance work has also meant that two rush-hour trains a day are running with fewer carriages.’
      • ‘If they are to be kept in optimal condition, ongoing maintenance will be required.’
      • ‘Included in the investigation will be a look at aircraft maintenance, weather conditions and the possibility of human error.’
      • ‘They will also report back to the council on graffiti, maintenance issues, abandoned cars and fly tipping.’
      • ‘By following a good care and maintenance programme this situation can be delayed for many years.’
      • ‘Bradford Council's head of highways John Blackburn, apologised for any inconvenience during the essential maintenance work.’
      • ‘The appeal was launched 18 months ago and aims to fund essential maintenance work and the development of the Cathedral.’
      • ‘In addition, the existing cathedral hall will be refurbished along with essential maintenance work on the building.’
      • ‘Pemberton pleaded guilty to failing to commence essential maintenance work on the property.’
      • ‘Being a driver's car means that correct maintenance is important, so running one on a shoestring isn't recommended.’
      • ‘The scheme's aim is to have essential maintenance work done in the summer holidays, causing the least disruption to classes.’
      • ‘We depend upon the improvement and maintenance of the condition of the land.’
      • ‘I believe that the ‘well meaning’ owner Mr Talbot has said it is for the purposes of ‘essential maintenance work’.’
      • ‘Menwith Hill's main entrance is currently closed for essential maintenance work and is shut off by concrete blocks and razor wire.’
      • ‘Don't blame road maintenance and this ridiculous situation for lives are at stake.’
      • ‘Keeping them in good condition with proper maintenance is the key to their success.’
      upkeep, service, servicing, repair, repairs
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  • 2The provision of financial support for a person's living expenses, or the support so provided.

    • ‘By law he is obliged to, and does, contribute financially to their maintenance.’
    • ‘An estimated 34% of new entrants benefited from some form of means-tested financial maintenance support.’
    • ‘Try and sort out the financial position: maintenance, pensions, inheritance.’
    nurture, feeding, life support
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    1. 2.1British Alimony or child support.
      • ‘These Aiyats leave no doubt that the Quran imposes an obligation on the Muslim husband to make provision for or to provide maintenance to the divorced wife.’
      • ‘In the vast majority of divorces, a wife's entitlement to annual maintenance payments will continue to be assessed on her need.’
      • ‘Spouse and child maintenance, and child custody, were also to be decided on a no-fault basis.’
      • ‘Then engage a lawyer and decide whether or not you want separate maintenance or a divorce.’
      • ‘In one English case, a husband declared himself bankrupt before his wife's application for maintenance came in.’
      • ‘A divorced spouse can apply for maintenance when the marriage is dissolved.’
      • ‘Today the doors of the civil courts are open for us in issues of custody, alimony, maintenance, guardianship and shared property.’
      • ‘She filed a petition for divorce and maintenance which are still pending, while her husband lives in the matrimonial home with his paramour.’
      • ‘Despite the fact that I was left to rear the children on my own a court ordered that I pay maintenance to my wife.’
      • ‘Countries where ex - husbands make generous maintenance payments also have more single mothers.’
      • ‘The Supreme Court of India had ordered payment of maintenance allowance by the previous husband to his divorced wife for life or till her re-marriage.’
      • ‘If the split was acrimonious, her husband could refuse to pay maintenance before the separation agreement.’
      • ‘The most likely scenario would then be that the woman would be thrown out the house, left to her meager or nil resources to file claims for maintenance, alimony or custody of her children.’
      • ‘However, by doing so she loses the right to maintenance or alimony which a divorced woman can claim legally.’
      • ‘It is obvious that after the pronouncement of the third divorce also, a husband shall be responsible to provide residence and maintenance to the divorced wife.’
      • ‘A former North Yorkshire man has denied trying to hide £150,000 during court proceedings over his first wife's maintenance.’
      • ‘Current wages are also protected, unless a court has ordered you to make payments for child support, alimony or other support or maintenance.’
      • ‘It appears that the rules for alimony and maintenance support are the same as between heterosexual married couples, according to Byrne.’
      • ‘English maintenance or alimony decrees can be lifelong.’
      • ‘This might happen, for example, where the Court is making provision for the maintenance of a divorced wife or the children, or, with some types of pension, in bankruptcy proceedings.’
      financial support, child support, alimony, provision, allowance, keep, upkeep, subsistence, living expenses
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  • 3Law
    The offense of aiding a party in a legal action without lawful cause.

    • ‘His actions have a whiff of the old offence of maintenance and champerty, meddling in another's law suit for his own advantage.’
    • ‘Consett Iron, which was a decision before criminal and tortious liability for maintenance and champerty were abolished by the Criminal Law Act 1967.’
    • ‘Interestingly, the prohibition against maintenance, including champerty, was a result of Twelfth Century tort reform.’
    • ‘It is associated with the torts of champerty and maintenance.’
    • ‘That is why I referred to barratry and the old common law rules about maintenance and champerty.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘aiding a party in a legal action without lawful cause’): from Old French, from maintenir (see maintain).