top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce sustain (audio)

Dictionary definition of sustain

To keep something going, to support or maintain it over time.
"The community's efforts helped to sustain the local ecosystem."

Detailed meaning of sustain

The term can be used in a variety of contexts, including physical, emotional, and economic. In a physical context, sustaining can refer to providing the necessary resources, such as food and water, to keep someone or something alive. In an emotional context, sustaining can refer to providing the necessary support and encouragement to help someone cope with a difficult situation. In an economic context, sustaining can refer to maintaining or supporting economic growth or stability.
The term can also be used to refer to the ability to withstand or endure something, such as an injury or a difficult situation. Sustainability is also a term that refers to the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is often used in relation to the environment, and is associated with practices that preserve natural resources and reduce pollution and waste.

Example sentences containing sustain

1. He can sustain a high level of performance for long periods.
2. The athlete aims to sustain his winning streak.
3. We need to sustain the momentum of our progress.
4. The company works hard to sustain its market share.
5. She can sustain a note for an impressive amount of time.
6. We must find ways to sustain the environment for future generations.

History and etymology of sustain

The verb 'sustain' has its origins in the Latin word 'sustinere,' which combines 'sub' (under) and 'tenere' (to hold). This etymology conveys the idea of holding something up from below, thereby supporting and maintaining it. As 'sustain' made its way into Middle English from Old French as 'sustenen,' it retained its fundamental sense of keeping something going and providing the necessary support or maintenance for its continuation over time. The word's roots underscore the act of upholding and preserving, emphasizing the role it plays in ensuring the endurance and vitality of various aspects of life.

Quiz: Find the meaning of sustain

Try Again!


Further usage examples of sustain

1. The government implemented policies to sustain economic growth.
2. He needs proper nutrition to sustain his physical health.
3. The organization relies on donations to sustain its programs.
4. She hopes her passion for the cause will sustain her through difficult times.
5. We have to sustain our focus and determination to achieve our goals.
6. The medication helps sustain his blood pressure at a healthy level.
7. The team's morale is essential to sustain their performance.
8. The artist hopes to sustain her creativity throughout her career.
9. The building is designed to sustain strong winds and earthquakes.
10. We must sustain our efforts in promoting equality and social justice.
11. He finds comfort in music to sustain his emotional well-being.
12. The renewable energy sector is crucial to sustain a cleaner environment.
13. The community comes together to sustain its local businesses.
14. We need to sustain our commitment to lifelong learning.



maintain, cease, stop, discontinue


Aid and Assistance, Balance and Stability, Continuation and Perseverance, Perseverance and Fortitude

bottom of page