American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


SUSTA'IN, verb transitive [Latin sustineo; sub and teneo, to hold under.]

1. To bear; to uphold; to support; as, a foundation sustains the superstructure; pillars sustain an edifice; a beast sustains a load.

2. To hold; to keep from falling; as, a rope sustains a weight.

3. To support; to keep from sinking in despondence. The hope of a better life sustains the afflicted amidst all their sorrows.

4. To maintain; to keep alive; to support; to subsist; as provisions to sustain a family or an army.

5. To support in any condition by aid; to assist or relieve.

His sons, who seek the tyrant to sustain

6. To bear; to endure without failing or yielding. The mind stands collected and sustains the shock.

Shall Turnus then such endless toil sustain?

7. To suffer; to bear; to undergo.

You shall sustain more new disgraces.

8. To maintain; to support; not to dismiss or abate. Notwithstanding the plea in bar or in abatement, the court sustained the action or suit.

9. To maintain as a sufficient ground. The testimony or the evidence is not sufficient to sustain the action, the accusation, the charges, or the impeachment.

10. In music, to continue, as the sound of notes through their whole length.

SUSTA'IN, noun That which upholds. [Not in use.]