Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The supporting of life or health; maintenance or means of livelihood.
  • noun Something, especially food, that sustains life or health.
  • noun Something that sustains something else; essential support.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An upholding; the act of bearing.
  • noun The act of sustaining; support; maintenance; subsistence: as, the sustenance of life.
  • noun That which supports life; food; provisions; means of living.
  • noun Synonyms Subsistence, etc. See living.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of sustaining; support; maintenance; subsistence.
  • noun That which supports life; food; victuals; provisions; means of living.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Something that provides support or nourishment.

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

  • noun a source of materials to nourish the body
  • noun the financial means whereby one lives
  • noun the act of sustaining life by food or providing a means of subsistence

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from sustenir, to sustain; see sustain.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old French, from sustenir (14c), from Latin sustenire.

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I love in Legally Blonde when Reese bounces into the library with that big picnic basket, and announces to Viv and Warner's study group that she "brought sustenance."

    December 21, 2006

  • I know precisely which scene you mean, mikepurvis.

    June 13, 2016