maintenance (n.)

mid-14c., maintenaunce, "wrongful interference in others' lawsuits by a lord or his followers," from Old French maintenance "upkeep; shelter, protection," from maintenir "to keep, sustain; persevere in" (see maintain). Meaning "action of upholding or keeping in good order" is from early 15c. That of "action of providing a person with the necessities of life," also "financial provision or support, that which maintains or supports" is from late 14c.

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