Etymology
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maintain (v.)

c. 1300, maintenen, "to support, uphold, aid;" also "hold fast, keep in possession, preserve from capture or loss," from Anglo-French meintenir (Old French maintenir, 12c.) "keep (a wife), sustain; persevere in, practice continually," from Latin manu tenere "hold in the hand," from manu, ablative of manus "hand" (from PIE root *man- (2) "hand") + tenere "to hold," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch."

Sense of "hold in an existing state or condition, keep in existence or continuance" is from early 14c. Meaning "to carry on, keep up" is from mid-14c.; that of "to keep oneself, support" is from late 14c. Sense of "defend in speech, uphold by argument or assertion" is from mid-14c. Meaning "practice habitually" is from c. 1400. Sense of "furnish means for the subsistence or existence of" is from c. 1400. Related: Maintained; maintaining; maintains.

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Definitions of maintain

maintain (v.)
cause to continue in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g., `keep clean';
Synonyms: keep / hold
maintain (v.)
keep in safety and protect from harm, decay, loss, or destruction;
Synonyms: conserve / preserve / keep up
maintain (v.)
supply with necessities and support;
Synonyms: sustain / keep
maintain (v.)
state categorically;
Synonyms: assert / asseverate
maintain (v.)
have and exercise;
Synonyms: wield / exert
maintain (v.)
maintain for use and service;
Synonyms: keep
maintain (v.)
maintain by writing regular records;
maintain a record
Synonyms: keep
maintain (v.)
state or assert;
He maintained his innocence
Synonyms: defend
maintain (v.)
support against an opponent;
Synonyms: uphold
maintain (v.)
stick to correctly or closely;
Synonyms: observe / keep
From wordnet.princeton.edu