Definitions

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

  • n. Something that sustains; a support.
  • n. Sustenance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act, or the result of sustaining; sustainment.
  • n. The aggregate of the functions by which a living organism is maintained in a normal condition of weight and growth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of sustaining, or the state of being sustained; preservation from falling; support; sustenance; maintenance.
  • n. The aggregate of the functions by which a living organism is maintained in a normal condition of weight and growth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Support; preservation from falling or sinking.
  • n. Maintenance: especially, support of life; sustenance.

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

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sustentātiō, sustentātiōn-, from sustentātus, past participle of sustentāre, to support; see sustentacular.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1382: from the Old French sustentacion, from the Latin sustentātio, from sustentō; compare the Italian sostentazione, the Occitan sustentacion, the Portuguese sustentação, and the Spanish sustentación. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • No missionary or "sustentation" support should be given by any cooperating denomination to a pastor in an overchurched community nor to a "circuit" involving interdenominational competition until after an adjustment is made either by reorganization of the circuit or an agreement has been reached by the missionary and administrative bodies of the respective denominations concerned as to an allocation of such missionary responsibility.

    Church Cooperation in Community Life

  • There are two funds: one subscribed expressly for the building of churches, the other limited to the "sustentation" of incumbents.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 340, February, 1844

  • The fundamental question that had to be answered in that book was the question of the "sustentation" of the new Church.

    The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 10

  • This area requires maintenance costing over $200 million a day and the surreptitious cost of the car culture totals nearly $500 billion a year in the U.S. alone, much of that going to the sustentation of a military presence in the Persian Gulf.

    Driving Mister Barack

  • Further, seeing it is not enough to the sustentation of a

    Leviathan

  • The thing is reduced to a cruel mockery when stores and granaries are over-gorged, while people clamor in vain for clothing and food, and drop dead within reach of these prime elements of warmth and sustentation.

    Black and White

  • A man must have air, or he will suffocate; he must have water, or he will perish of thirst; he must have access to the soil, for upon it grow those things which nature intended for the sustentation of the physical man, and without which he cannot live.

    Black and White

  • This swath of terra firma requires maintenance costing over $200 million a day and the surreptitious cost of our car culture totals nearly $500 billion a year in the U.S. alone (much of that going to the sustentation of waging perpetual war to keep the world safe for petroleum).

    All the leaves are brown

  • (The surreptitious cost of the car culture totals nearly $464 billion a year in the U.S. alone, much of that going to the sustentation of a military presence in the Persian Gulf.) 6.

    10 Reasons Why Cars Suck

  • Symonie, under the nice name of Negotiation, and for gluttony, not sustentation: even as if God had not knowne the signification of vocables, nor the intentions of wicked hearts, but would suffer himselfe to bee deceived by the outward names of things, as wretched men commonly use to doe.

    The Decameron

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