Difference Wiki

Maintain vs. Sustain: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 5, 2024
Maintain refers to keep something in its current state or condition. Sustain refers to support, endure, or keep going over a period of time.

Key Differences

Maintain implies keeping something in its existing state or condition, like maintaining a garden. Sustain suggests continuing support over time, like sustaining interest in a hobby.
Huma Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
The act of maintaining often involves regular care or upkeep, as in maintaining a vehicle. To sustain, however, means to provide what is needed for something to exist, continue, or be prolonged, like sustaining energy levels.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
Maintenance can be seen as a more passive act of preserving the status quo. Sustaining, in contrast, implies an active process of providing ongoing support or endurance.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
Maintain can also mean to assert or declare something in argument, whereas sustain in a legal context means to uphold or affirm a decision or argument.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
In a broader sense, maintain can refer to keeping up relationships or conditions, like maintaining friendships. Sustain can relate to enduring under challenging conditions, like sustaining hope during difficult times.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Definition

Keeping something in its current state
Providing support over time
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Context of Use

Regular care or upkeep
Continuation and endurance
Huma Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Nature of Action

Preserving status quo
Providing ongoing support
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Additional Meanings

To assert in an argument
To endure under challenges
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Example Usage

Maintaining a machine
Sustaining effort or energy
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Maintain and Sustain Definitions

Maintain

To continue or preserve at the same level.
He struggled to maintain his concentration during the lecture.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Sustain

To support, nourish, or keep up over a period.
A balanced diet is necessary to sustain good health.
Huma Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Maintain

To assert or uphold.
She maintained her innocence throughout the trial.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Sustain

To experience or suffer, especially an injury.
He sustained a knee injury during the game.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Maintain

To provide for, to supply with necessities.
The program is designed to maintain children with necessary school supplies.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

Sustain

To endure, withstand, or bear up under.
The bridge was designed to sustain heavy loads.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Maintain

To keep up a relationship or condition.
Maintaining good relationships with colleagues is essential for teamwork.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

Sustain

To keep a process or activity going.
It's challenging to sustain interest in a project for a long time.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Maintain

To keep something in good condition.
It's important to regularly maintain your car for its longevity.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Sustain

To uphold, affirm, or confirm.
The judge sustained the lawyer's objection.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Maintain

To keep up or carry on; continue
Maintain good relations.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Sustain

To keep in existence; maintain, continue, or prolong
Sustain an effort.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Sustain

To keep up (a joke or assumed role, for example) competently.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

FAQs

What does it mean to maintain a house?

Maintaining a house involves regular care and repairs to keep it in good condition.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle involves consistent habits like a balanced diet and exercise.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

What does it mean to maintain your composure?

Maintaining composure means keeping calm and controlled in a situation.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 05, 2024

What is an example of sustaining something?

Sustaining enthusiasm in a long-term project is an example.
Huma Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Can a person sustain themselves with a hobby?

Yes, if the hobby provides emotional or financial support over time.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Can sustain be used in a legal context?

Yes, in law, to sustain a claim means to uphold it.
Harlon Moss
Jan 05, 2024

Is maintaining a car similar to sustaining it?

Maintaining a car is about keeping it in good condition, while sustaining it would mean ensuring its continued function over time.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Can you maintain a relationship?

Yes, maintaining a relationship involves keeping it in a healthy, stable state.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

What does it mean to sustain an injury?

To sustain an injury means to suffer or experience it.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

How does a business sustain growth?

A business sustains growth by continually adapting and supporting expansion strategies.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Can you sustain a conversation?

Yes, sustaining a conversation means keeping it going.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

How do economies sustain development?

Economies sustain development by ongoing investment and innovation.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Can sustain be used in environmental contexts?

Yes, like sustaining biodiversity or natural resources.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Can you maintain a budget?

Yes, by regularly managing and adjusting expenses to fit the budget.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 05, 2024

What's an example of maintaining a garden?

Regular watering and weeding to keep a garden healthy.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

What's the difference in maintaining vs. sustaining health?

Maintaining health is keeping it at a current level; sustaining health is about long-term support.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Is maintenance always physical?

No, maintenance can also be emotional or intellectual, like maintaining a belief.
Harlon Moss
Jan 05, 2024

What does it mean to sustain effort?

To continue applying effort over a period of time.
Harlon Moss
Jan 05, 2024

How do you maintain a skill?

By practicing regularly to keep the skill sharp.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 05, 2024

Can maintain have legal implications?

Yes, in law, maintaining a claim means asserting it.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons