maintain


maintain
maintain, assert, defend, vindicate, justify are comparable when they mean to uphold as true, right, just, valid, or worthy of notice or acceptance in the face of opposition or indifference.
Maintain implies a firmness of conviction. When this implication is the only one, maintain usually means to argue in the spirit of one who does not admit any weakness in his contention
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the artisan, for example, ranks no doubt lower than the professional man; but no one maintains that he is a different kind of being— Dickin-son

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there is ... a Philosophic Doctrine—. . . I know that many serious people believe it—which maintains that all men, in spite of appearances and pretensions . . . live alike for pleasure— L. P. Smith

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Often, however, the term additionally implies persistency or insistency in upholding in deñance of all opposition
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before this court ought to intervene the case should be of serious magnitude clearly and fully proved, and the principle to be applied should be one which the court is prepared deliberately to maintain against all considerations on the other side— Justice Holmes

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Assert (see also ASSERT 1) so strongly implies a determination to make others accept or recognize what one puts forward as the truth, or as a claim, or as a right, that it often suggests aggressiveness or obtrusiveness
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the provision of the constitution never has been understood to embrace other contracts, than those which . .. confer rights which may be asserted in a court of justice— John Marshall

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But assert does not always imply the use of argument to force conviction or recognition
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anyone . . . can feel the sustained dignity of the sculptor's work, which is asserted with all the emphasis he could put into itHenry Adams

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on the whole New Zealand was lavish with money and attention, and used force only to assert her sovereignty— Heiser

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Defend implies a maintaining in the face of attack with the intention of demonstrating the truth, rightness, or propriety of what is questioned; thus, one defends a thesis who, as a candidate for a degree, submits himself to examiners who assail the weak or dubious points of his argument
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the independence of the Supreme Court of the United States should be defended at all costs— Lippmann

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Defend, in this sense, does not imply, as it so often implies in its more common sense (see DEFEND 1), that the defender is in a weak or dubious position; however it seldom suggests as much aggressiveness as does assert and often connotes the aim of an apologist
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I have not adopted my faith in order to defend my views of conduct— T. S. Eliot

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Vindicate (see also EXCULPATE) implies an attempt, usually a successful attempt, at defense or assertion. It presupposes that whatever is being defended or asserted has been or is capable of being challenged, questioned, denied, or contemned. When the emphasis is on defense, then argument or something which has the force of argument is usually implied, and an aim not only to make one's point but to confute and confound one's opponents is often connoted
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writers who vindicated our hereditary House of Lords against a certain Parliament Act— Quiller-Couch

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the view of the informed and disinterested men turned out to be almost completely wrong, while the relatively uninformed . . . were vindicated on all counts— Rovere

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When the emphasis is upon assertion, vindicate usually implies an effort to resist triumphantly the force of encroachment or interference or to overwhelm those who deny or doubt, not so much by argument as by appropriate action
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arise, and vindicate Thy Glory; free thy people from their yoke!— Milton

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what was it that stood in his way? His unfortunate timidity! He wished to vindicate himself in some way, to assert his manhood— Joyce

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Justify (see also EXPLAIN 2 , JUSTIFY 3) implies that the thing concerned can no longer be opposed or ignored because it has been conclusively shown to be true, valid, or proper by irrefutable arguments or on inescapable grounds, such as its consequences or its successful operation
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if the Germans are to justify the high claims they make for Lessing as a critic, they must rest them on other grounds than his intellectual originality— Babbitt

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fate persists in justifying the harsh generalizations of Puritan morals— Bennett

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it isn't by the materials you use that your claim to originality will stand justified or condemned; it is solely by the thing you do with them— Lowes

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Analogous words: affirm, aver, protest, avow, declare, profess, avouch (see ASSERT): *contend, fight, battle, war: persist, *persevere
Contrasted words: oppose, combat, *resist, withstand, fight: *deny, gainsay, contradict, traverse

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • maintain — main‧tain [meɪnˈteɪn, mən ] verb [transitive] 1. to make something continue in the same way or at the same high standard as before: • It is impossible to maintain exports at past levels. • To maintain sales growth, the company plans to unveil a… …   Financial and business terms

  • maintain — I (carry on) verb adfirmare, confirmare, contendere, continue, follow up, go on, keep alive, keep going, keep on, keep up, perpetuate, persevere, persist, proceed with, prolong, pursue, shore up, stick to II (commence) verb activate, b …   Law dictionary

  • maintain — [mān tān′] vt. [ME mainteinen < OFr maintenir < ML manutenere < L manu tenere, to hold in the hand < manu, abl. of manus, hand + tenere, to hold: see MANUAL & TENANT] 1. to keep or keep up; continue in or with; carry on 2. a) to keep… …   English World dictionary

  • Maintain — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Metalcore Gründung 1998 Website http://www.maintain hc.de …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • maintain — [v1] care for, keep up advance, carry on, conserve, continue, control, cultivate, finance, go on with, guard, keep, keep going, look after, manage, nurture, perpetuate, persevere, preserve, prolong, protect, provide, renew, repair, retain, save,… …   New thesaurus

  • maintain — (v.) mid 13c., to practice habitually, from Anglo Fr. meintenir (O.Fr. maintenir, 12c.) keep (a wife), sustain; persevere in, practice continually, from L. manu tenere hold in the hand, from manu, ablative of manus hand (see MANUAL (Cf. manual))… …   Etymology dictionary

  • maintain — ► VERB 1) cause or enable (a condition or state of affairs) to continue. 2) keep (a building, machine, etc.) in good condition by checking or repairing it regularly. 3) provide with necessities for life or existence. 4) assert to be the case.… …   English terms dictionary

  • maintain — 01. Tian Hsu works hard to [maintain] close friendships with the students she studied with in London. 02. The roads haven t been properly [maintained], and now are full of cracks and potholes. 03. The President always [maintained] that he didn t… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • maintain — [[t]meɪnte͟ɪn[/t]] ♦♦ maintains, maintaining, maintained 1) VERB If you maintain something, you continue to have it, and do not let it stop or grow weaker. [V n] The Department maintains many close contacts with the chemical industry... [V n]… …   English dictionary


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