Sustain Sus*tain", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Sustained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Sustaining}.] [OE. sustenen, susteinen, OF. sustenir, sostenir, F. soutenir (the French prefix is properly fr. L. subtus below, fr. sub under), L. sustinere; pref. sus- (see {Sub-}) + tenere to hold. See {Tenable}, and cf. {Sustenance}.] 1. To keep from falling; to bear; to uphold; to support; as, a foundation sustains the superstructure; a beast sustains a load; a rope sustains a weight. [1913 Webster]

Every pillar the temple to sustain. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, to keep from sinking, as in despondence, or the like; to support. [1913 Webster]

No comfortable expectations of another life to sustain him under the evils in this world. --Tillotson. [1913 Webster]

3. To maintain; to keep alive; to support; to subsist; to nourish; as, provisions to sustain an army. [1913 Webster]

4. To aid, comfort, or relieve; to vindicate. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

His sons, who seek the tyrant to sustain. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

5. To endure without failing or yielding; to bear up under; as, to sustain defeat and disappointment. [1913 Webster]

6. To suffer; to bear; to undergo. [1913 Webster]

Shall Turnus, then, such endless toil sustain? --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

You shall sustain more new disgraces. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

7. To allow the prosecution of; to admit as valid; to sanction; to continue; not to dismiss or abate; as, the court sustained the action or suit. [1913 Webster]

8. To prove; to establish by evidence; to corroborate or confirm; to be conclusive of; as, to sustain a charge, an accusation, or a proposition. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To support; uphold; subsist; assist; relieve; suffer; undergo. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sustain — is a parameter of musical sound in time. As its name may imply, it denotes the period of time during which the sound is sustained before it becomes inaudible, or silent.Furthermore, sustain is the third of the four segments in an ADSR envelope.… …   Wikipedia

  • sustain — sus·tain /sə stān/ vt 1: to support as true, legal, or just 2: to allow or uphold as valid sustain an objection compare overrule 1 sus·tain·able adj Merri …   Law dictionary

  • sustain — sus‧tain [səˈsteɪn] verb [transitive] 1. if a company sustains losses or other difficulties, it has them: • Like other insurance companies, we have sustained heavy losses. • The record industry sustained a sales …   Financial and business terms

  • sustain — Fowler s view in 1926 was that ‘sustain as a synonym for suffer or receive or get belongs to the class of formal words, and is better avoided’, and its use in the contexts of injuries, losses, hardship, etc., is still widely disliked. Fowler was… …   Modern English usage

  • sustain — [sə stān′] vt. [ME susteinen < OFr sustenir < L sustinere < sus (see SUB ), under + tenere, to hold (see THIN)] 1. to keep in existence; keep up; maintain or prolong [to sustain a mood] 2. to provide for the support of; specif., to… …   English World dictionary

  • Sustain — Sus*tain , n. One who, or that which, upholds or sustains; a sustainer. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I waked again, for my sustain was the Lord. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sustain — [v1] keep up, maintain aid, approve, assist, back, bankroll, bear, befriend, bolster, brace, buoy, buttress, carry, comfort, confirm, continue, convey, defend, endorse, favor, feed, foster, go for, help, keep alive, keep from falling, keep going …   New thesaurus

  • sustain — late 13c., from O.Fr. sustenir hold up, endure, from L. sustinere hold up, support, endure, from sub up from below + tenere to hold (see TENET (Cf. tenet)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • sustain — 1 *support, prop, bolster, buttress, brace Analogous words: *continue, persist, endure, abide: uphold, back (see SUPPORT): *prove, demonstrate Antonyms: subvert 2 *experience, un …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • sustain — ► VERB 1) strengthen or support physically or mentally. 2) bear (the weight of an object). 3) suffer (something unpleasant). 4) keep (something) going over time or continuously. 5) confirm that (something) is just or valid. DERIVATIVES sustainer… …   English terms dictionary

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