from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of maintaining or the state of being maintained.
  • n. The work of keeping something in proper condition; upkeep.
  • n. Provision of support or livelihood: took over the maintenance of her family.
  • n. Means of support or livelihood: was ordered to pay maintenance for both children.
  • n. Law The unlawful meddling in a suit by providing either party with the means to carry it on.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Actions performed to keep some machine or system functioning or in service
  • n. A tort committed when a third party who does not have a bona fide interest in a lawsuit provides help or acquires an interest to a litigant's lawsuit.
  • n. A provision ordered to be made by way of periodical payments or a lump sum, as after a divorce for a spouse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of maintaining; sustenance; support; defense; vindication.
  • n. That which maintains or supports; means of sustenance; supply of necessaries and conveniences.
  • n. An officious or unlawful intermeddling in a cause depending between others, by assisting either party with money or means to carry it on. See Champerty.
  • n. Those actions required for the care of machinery, a building, etc., to keep it clean and in proper functioning condition, and to prevent or forestall damage due to normal use.
  • n. Payments, such as child support or alimony, to a dependent child not living with one or to a divorced wife.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of maintaining, keeping up, supporting, or upholding; preservation; sustentation; vindication: as, the maintenance of a family; the maintenance of right.
  • n. That which maintains or supports; means of livelihood.
  • n. Bearing; behavior.
  • n. In law
  • n. An officious intermeddling in a suit in which the meddler has no interest, by assisting either party with means to prosecute or defend it. This is a punishable offense at common law.
  • n. Formerly, a like intermeddling with the controversy of others, as to land, by wrongfully taking or holding possession in aid of one party.
  • n. In a more general sense, an interfering with the due course of justice.
  • n. Synonyms Justification, preservation.—2. Subsistence, Livelihood, etc. See living.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of sustaining life by food or providing a means of subsistence
  • n. court-ordered support paid by one spouse to another after they are separated
  • n. means of maintenance of a family or group
  • n. the unauthorized interference in a legal action by a person having no interest in it (as by helping one party with money or otherwise to continue the action) so as to obstruct justice or promote unnecessary litigation or unsettle the peace of the community
  • n. activity involved in maintaining something in good working order


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English maintenaunce, from Old French maintenance, from maintenir, to maintain; see maintain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English mayntenaunce, from Old French maintenance, from maintenir, from Latin manus tenere ("to hold in the hand").


  • I was making $16.21 an hour, because I did some networking on the inside with a family friend who told me what I would need to learn in order to become a maintenance person, or what they called a maintenance technician, which is really just a janitor, but laughs that's a good title for it.

    Tom Matlack: Life After Prison: How One Man Found Redemption Through Fatherhood

  • I ` m doing what they call maintenance chemo, a user-friendly chemo agent.

    CNN Transcript Sep 13, 2007

  • The square open-air cloister, like many other areas of the church, had forgotten the meaning of the word maintenance.

    Esperanza’s Box of Saints

  • Roberts, one of the members of the Committee, is only anxious for what he calls the maintenance of liturgical tradition; he says that there is a science of liturgy, and that it is of the utmost importance to keep in touch with it.

    The Upton Letters

  • Manage the development of annual and short term maintenance plans developed by the Portfolio Managers and ensure all associated work orders are designed and constructed in compliance with all City and State codes;

    News -

  • I think how we want to think about on a fiscal year basis is, in terms of just what we call the maintenance and compliance CapEx, we're still thinking we're probably running about around a $400 million type of number there for the fiscal year.

  • "We have an industry out there that supports the myth that after six months, you'll reach what they call the maintenance stage, where everything will be in order and you don't have to pay any special attention to what you're doing," says Rodgers, whose findings appear in the Top Stories

  • "Right now, we are entering what we call the maintenance phase, where we leave some absorbent pads out there and keep the vessel boomed off," Pierre said.

    The Facts: News

  • It was a little larger on the underground side but you can see that on our underground business we have quicker pricing power on the aftermarket that we do in the surface business, surface carries a number of long-term, what we call maintenance to repair contracts.


  • I think your $30 million of that has been what you classify as maintenance CapEx. Home Page


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  • "Maintenance is the bugbear of anything, including oneself."

    - Wendy Whiteley, interview with Andrew Denton on 'Enough Rope', 8 Dec 2008.

    December 8, 2008