from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To keep in existence; maintain.
- transitive v. To supply with necessities or nourishment; provide for.
- transitive v. To support from below; keep from falling or sinking; prop.
- transitive v. To support the spirits, vitality, or resolution of; encourage.
- transitive v. To bear up under; withstand: can't sustain the blistering heat.
- transitive v. To experience or suffer: sustained a fatal injury.
- transitive v. To affirm the validity of: The judge has sustained the prosecutor's objection.
- transitive v. To prove or corroborate; confirm.
- transitive v. To keep up (a joke or assumed role, for example) competently.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A mechanism which can be used to hold a note, as the right pedal on a piano.
- v. To maintain (something), or keep it in existence.
- v. To provide for or nourish (something).
- v. To encourage (something).
- v. To experience or suffer (an injury, etc.).
- v. To confirm, prove, or corroborate (something).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To keep from falling; to bear; to uphold; to support.
- transitive v. Hence, to keep from sinking, as in despondence, or the like; to support.
- transitive v. To maintain; to keep alive; to support; to subsist; to nourish.
- transitive v. To aid, comfort, or relieve; to vindicate.
- transitive v. To endure without failing or yielding; to bear up under.
- transitive v. To suffer; to bear; to undergo.
- transitive v. To allow the prosecution of; to admit as valid; to sanction; to continue; not to dismiss or abate.
- transitive v. To prove; to establish by evidence; to corroborate or confirm; to be conclusive of.
- n. One who, or that which, upholds or sustains; a sustainer.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To hold up; bear up; uphold; support.
- To hold suspended; keep from falling or sinking: as, a rope sustains a weight; to sustain one in the water.
- To keep from sinking in despondency; support.
- To maintain; keep up; especially, to keep alive; support; subsist; nourish: as, provisions to sustain a family or an army; food insufficient to sustain life.
- To support in any condition by aid; vindicate, comfort, assist, or relieve; favor.
- To endure without failing or yielding; bear up against; stand: as, able to sustain a shock.
- To suffer; have to submit to; bear; undergo.
- To admit or support as correct or valid; hold as well founded: as, the court sustained the action or suit.
- To support or maintain; establish by evidence; bear out; prove; confirm; make good; corroborate: as, such facts sustain the statement; the evidence is not sufficient to sustain the charge.
- In music, of tones, to prolong or hold to full time-value; render in a legato or sostenuto manner.
- See living.
- 8 and To sanction, approve, ratify, justify.
- To sustain one's self; rest for support.
- To bear; endure; suffer.
- n. One who or that which upholds; a sustainer.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
- v. admit as valid
- v. undergo (as of injuries and illnesses)
- v. be the physical support of; carry the weight of
- v. lengthen or extend in duration or space
- v. provide with nourishment
- v. supply with necessities and support
Middle English sustenen, from Old French sustenir, from Latin sustinēre : sub-, from below; see sub- + tenēre, to hold.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French sustenir (French: soutenir), from Latin sustineo, from sub- + teneo. (Wiktionary)