Definition of sustenance noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsʌstənəns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsʌstənəns//
    [uncountable] (formal)
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  1. 1the food and drink that people, animals and plants need to live and stay healthy There's not much sustenance in a bowl of soup. (figurative) Arguing would only give further sustenance to his allegations.
  2. 2sustenance (of something) the process of making something continue to exist Elections are essential for the sustenance of parliamentary democracy.
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French soustenance, from the verb soustenir, from Latin sustinere, from sub- ‘from below’ + tenere ‘hold’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sustenance