Etymology
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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.

updated on November 04, 2018

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Definitions of maintenance from WordNet

maintenance (n.)
activity involved in maintaining something in good working order;
Synonyms: care / upkeep
maintenance (n.)
means of maintenance of a family or group;
maintenance (n.)
court-ordered support paid by one spouse to another after they are separated;
Synonyms: alimony
maintenance (n.)
the act of sustaining life by food or providing a means of subsistence;
Synonyms: sustenance / sustentation / sustainment / upkeep
maintenance (n.)
the unauthorized interference in a legal action by a person having no interest in it (as by helping one party with money or otherwise to continue the action) so as to obstruct justice or promote unnecessary litigation or unsettle the peace of the community;
unlike champerty, criminal maintenance does not necessarily involve personal profit
Synonyms: criminal maintenance
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.