1. minimal (or marginal) resources for subsisting
; - Example: "social security provided only a bare subsistence"
2. a means of surviving
; - Example: "farming is a hard means of subsistence"
3. the state of existing in reality
; having substance
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Subsistence \Sub*sist"ence\, n. [Cf. F. subsistance, L.
1. Real being; existence.
Not only the things had subsistence, but the very
images were of some creatures existing.
2. Inherency; as, the subsistence of qualities in bodies.
3. That which furnishes support to animal life; means of
support; provisions, or that which produces provisions;
livelihood; as, a meager subsistence.
His viceroy could only propose to himself a
comfortable subsistence out of the plunder of his
4. (Theol.) Same as Hypostasis, 2. --Hooker.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: minimal (or marginal) resources for subsisting; "social
security provided only a bare subsistence"
2: a means of surviving; "farming is a hard means of
3: the state of existing in reality; having substance
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
101 Moby Thesaurus words for "subsistence":
Lenten, Spartan, TLC, abstemious, accommodation, accommodations,
aliment, alimentation, alimony, ascetic, austere, bed,
bed and board, being, board, board and room, bread,
bread and butter, care, daily bread, dwarfed, dwarfish,
economic support, endowment, ens, entity, esse, essence, exiguous,
existence, facilities, food, frugal, impoverished, jejune, keep,
lean, life, limited, livelihood, living, lodgings, maintenance,
manna, materiality, meager, mean, meat, miserly, mothering, narrow,
niggardly, nourishment, nurture, nutriment, occurrence, paltry,
parsimonious, poor, presence, price support, provision, puny,
rations, salt, scant, scanty, scrawny, scrimp, scrimpy, skimp,
skimpy, slender, slight, slim, small, spare, sparing, starvation,
stingy, stinted, straitened, stunted, subsidization, subsidy,
subsisting, substantiality, subvention, support, survival,
sustainment, sustenance, sustentation, tender loving care, thin,
unnourishing, unnutritious, upkeep, victuals, watered, watery