- 1sustain somebody/something to provide enough of what somebody/something needs in order to live or exist Which planets can sustain life? I only had a little chocolate to sustain me on my walk. The love and support of his family sustained him during his time in prison. When she lost her job they could no longer sustain their expensive lifestyle.
- 2sustain something to make something continue for some time without becoming less synonym maintain a period of sustained economic growth a sustained attack She managed to sustain everyone's interest until the end of her speech. Kangaroos can sustain high speeds over long distances. the sustaining pedal of a piano (= that allows a note to continue sounding for a long time)
- 3sustain something (formal) to experience something bad synonym suffer to sustain damage/an injury/a defeat The company sustained losses of millions of dollars. See related entries: Injuries
- 4sustain something to provide evidence to support an opinion, a theory, etc. synonym uphold The evidence is not detailed enough to sustain his argument.
- 5sustain something (formal) to support a weight without breaking or falling synonym bear The ice will not sustain your weight.
- 6sustain something (law) to decide that a claim, etc. is valid synonym uphold The court sustained his claim that the contract was illegal. Objection sustained! (= said by a judge when a lawyer makes an objection in court) Word Origin Middle English: from Old French soustenir, from Latin sustinere, from sub-
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BrE BrE//səˈsteɪn//; NAmE NAmE//səˈsteɪn//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sustain
BrE BrE//səˈsteɪn//; NAmE NAmE//səˈsteɪn//he / she / it sustains
BrE BrE//səˈsteɪnz//; NAmE NAmE//səˈsteɪnz//past simple sustained
BrE BrE//səˈsteɪnd//; NAmE NAmE//səˈsteɪnd//past participle sustained
BrE BrE//səˈsteɪnd//; NAmE NAmE//səˈsteɪnd//-ing form sustaining
BrE BrE//səˈsteɪnɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//səˈsteɪnɪŋ//Injuries