Definition of maintain verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

        

    maintain

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//meɪnˈteɪn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//meɪnˈteɪn//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they maintain
    BrE BrE//meɪnˈteɪn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//meɪnˈteɪn//
     
    he / she / it maintains
    BrE BrE//meɪnˈteɪnz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//meɪnˈteɪnz//
     
    past simple maintained
    BrE BrE//meɪnˈteɪnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//meɪnˈteɪnd//
     
    past participle maintained
    BrE BrE//meɪnˈteɪnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//meɪnˈteɪnd//
     
    -ing form maintaining
    BrE BrE//meɪnˈteɪnɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//meɪnˈteɪnɪŋ//
     
    Historic buildings, How a building looks, How machines work
     
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  1. 1  maintain 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. 2  maintain 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. See related entries: Historic buildings, How a building looks, How machines work
  3. 3  to 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 there is a significant deterioration in quality in his post-war work. 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 Picasso’s painting was influenced by jazz music.
  4. 4  maintain somebody/something to support somebody/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.
  5. Word Origin Middle English (also in the sense ‘practise an action habitually’): from Old French maintenir, from Latin manu tenere ‘hold in the hand’.Extra examples His priority is to maintain and protect his family. Under the terms of the agreement she had forfeited her right to be maintained by her husband. Commercial aircraft generally maintain cabin altitudes between 6 000 and 8 000 feet. He emphasized the need to maintain the status quo. He has always maintained his innocence. He successfully maintained the financial health of the company. It is difficult to maintain that such a harsh punishment was justified. The company has easily maintained its position as the leading brand in the money-transfer business. The government’s position became increasingly difficult to maintain. They are looking to cut costs while simultaneously maintaining the existing levels of service. This pace cannot be maintained indefinitely. We are anxious to maintain our close links with the police. a poorly maintained central heating system I do a lot of mechanical work and I maintain my own car. Our principle task is to maintain law and order. She has always maintained her innocence. The grounds are beautifully maintained. The wheel spats collect debris and make it difficult to maintain the brakes.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: maintain