Main"te*nance(?), n. [OF. maintenance. See Maintain.] 1. The act of maintaining; sustenance; support; defense; vindication.
Whatsoever is granted to the church for God's honor and the maintenance of his service, is granted to God.South.
2. That which maintains or supports; means of sustenance; supply of necessaries and conveniences.
Those of better fortune not making learning their maintenance.Swift.
(Crim. Law) An officious or unlawful intermeddling in a cause depending between others, by assisting either party with money or means to carry it on. See Champerty.
4. Those actions required for the care of machinery, a building, etc., to keep it clean and in proper functioning condition, and to prevent or forestall damage due to normal use.
5. Payments, such as child support or alimony, to a dependent child not living with one or to a divorced wife.
Cap of maintenance. See under Cap.
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