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.

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