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

 

subsistence

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//səbˈsɪstəns//
 
; NAmE NAmE//səbˈsɪstəns//
 
[uncountable] Poverty and famine, Growing crops
 
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the state of having just enough money or food to stay alive Many families are living below the level of subsistence. to live below (the) subsistence level They had no visible means of subsistence. subsistence agriculture/farming (= growing enough only to live on, not to sell) subsistence crops Our ancestors lived in basic subsistence economies where cash never changed hands. He worked a 16-hour day for a subsistence wage (= enough money to buy only basic items). See related entries: Poverty and famine, Growing cropsExtra examples She earns less than a subsistence wage at the mail-order company. She had no means of subsistence and was dependent on charity. They were living barely above the level of subsistence. their family’s basic subsistence needs
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: subsistence