The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Maintain \Main*tain\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Maintained; p. pr. &
vb. n. Maintaining.] [OE. maintenen, F. maintenir,
properly, to hold by the hand; main hand (L. manus) + F.
tenir to hold (L. tenere). See Manual, and Tenable.]
1. To hold or keep in any particular state or condition; to
support; to sustain; to uphold; to keep up; not to suffer
to fail or decline; as, to maintain a certain degree of
heat in a furnace; to maintain a fence or a railroad; to
maintain the digestive process or powers of the stomach;
to maintain the fertility of soil; to maintain present
2. To keep possession of; to hold and defend; not to
surrender or relinquish.
God values . . . every one as he maintains his post.
3. To continue; not to suffer to cease or fail.
Maintain talk with the duke. --Shak.
4. To bear the expense of; to support; to keep up; to supply
with what is needed.
Glad, by his labor, to maintain his life.
What maintains one vice would bring up two children.
5. To affirm; to support or defend by argument.
It is hard to maintain the truth, but much harder to
be maintained by it. --South.
Syn: To assert; vindicate; allege. See Assert.