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
Middle English maintenaunce, from Old French maintenance, from maintenir, to maintain; see maintain.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English mayntenaunce, from Old French maintenance, from maintenir, from Latin manus tenere ("to hold in the hand"). (Wiktionary)