Sus*tain" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sustained (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Sustaining.] [OE. sustenen, susteinen, OF. sustenir, sostenir, F. soutenir (the French prefix is properly fr. L. subtus below, fr. sub under), L. sustinere; pref. sus- (see Sub-) + tenere to hold. See Tenable, and cf. Sustenance.]


To keep from falling; to bear; to uphold; to support; as, a foundation sustains the superstructure; a beast sustains a load; a rope sustains a weight.

Every pillar the temple to sustain. Chaucer.


Hence, to keep from sinking, as in despondence, or the like; to support.

No comfortable expectations of another life to sustain him under the evils in this world. Tillotson.


To maintain; to keep alive; to support; to subsist; to nourish; as, provisions to sustain an army.


To aid, comfort, or relieve; to vindicate.


His sons, who seek the tyrant to sustain. Dryden.


To endure without failing or yielding; to bear up under; as, to sustain defeat and disappointment.


To suffer; to bear; to undergo.

Shall Turnus, then, such endless toil sustain? Dryden.

You shall sustain more new disgraces. Shak.


To allow the prosecution of; to admit as valid; to sanction; to continue; not to dismiss or abate; as, the court sustained the action or suit.


To prove; to establish by evidence; to corroborate or confirm; to be conclusive of; as, to sustain a charge, an accusation, or a proposition.

Syn. -- To support; uphold; subsist; assist; relieve; suffer; undergo.


© Webster 1913.

Sus*tain" (?), n.

One who, or that which, upholds or sustains; a sustainer.


I waked again, for my sustain was the Lord. Milton.


© Webster 1913.

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