American English

Definition of maintain verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they maintain
    he / she / it maintains
    past simple maintained
    -ing form maintaining
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  1. 1maintain something to make something continue at the same level, standard, etc. synonym preserve to maintain law and order/standards/a balance The two countries have always maintained close relations. (formal) She maintained a dignified silence. to maintain prices (= prevent them falling or rising)
  2. 2maintain something to keep a building, a machine, etc. in good condition by checking or repairing it regularly The house is large and difficult to maintain.
  3. 3to keep stating that something is true, even though other people do not agree or do not believe it synonym insist maintain (that)… The men maintained (that) they were out of the country when the crime was committed. maintain something She has always maintained her innocence. + speech “But I'm innocent!” she maintained. Language Bankargueverbs for reporting an opinion Some critics argue that Picasso remained a great master all his life. Others maintain that his post-war work showed a significant deterioration in quality. Picasso himself claimed that good art is created, but great art is stolen. As Smith has noted, Picasso borrowed imagery from African art. As the author points out, Picasso borrowed imagery from African art. The writer challenges the notion that Picasso's sculpture was secondary to his painting. It has been suggested that/Sanchez suggests that Picasso's painting was influenced by jazz music.
  4. 4maintain somebody/something to support someone or something over a long period of time by giving money, paying for food, etc. synonym keep Her income was barely enough to maintain one child, let alone three.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: maintain