MAINTA'IN, verb transitive [Latin manus and teneo.]
1. To hold, preserve or keep in any particular state or condition; to support; to sustain; not to suffer to fail or decline; as, to maintain a certain degree of heat in a furnace; to maintain the digestive process or powers of the stomach; to maintain the fertility of soil; to maintain present character or reputation.
2. To hold; to keep; not to lose or surrender; as, to maintain a place or post.
3. To continue; not to suffer to cease; as, to maintain a conversation.
4. To keep up; to uphold; to support the expense of; as, to maintain state or equipage.
What maintains one vice would bring up two children.
5. To support with food, clothing and other conveniences; as, to maintain a family by trade or labor.
6. To support by intellectual powers, or by force of reason; as, to maintain an argument.
7. To support; to defend; to vindicate; to justify; to prove to be just; as, to maintain one's right or cause.
8. To support by assertion or argument; to affirm.
In tragedy and satire, I maintain that this age and the last have excelled the ancients.