Definition of sustenance in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsʌst(ə)nəns/
Pronunciation: /ˈsʌstɪnəns/


[mass noun]
1Food and drink regarded as a source of strength; nourishment: poor rural economies turned to potatoes for sustenance
More example sentences
  • The perfect delivery method for food is unquestionably a sandwich - almost all sources of sustenance are improved by inclusion in such a meal.
  • Insects serve as pollinators for food crops, nutritious sustenance for a range of birds and mammals, and decomposers of plant and animal products.
  • As Scottish children rely on low-grade processed foods and fizzy drinks for daily sustenance, the devastating effects are beginning to show.
nourishment, food, nutriment, nutrition, fare, diet, daily bread, provisions, rations, means of keeping body and soul together
informal grub, chow, scoff
formal comestibles, provender
archaic victuals, vittles, viands, meat
rare aliment
1.1The maintaining of someone or something in life or existence: he kept two or three cows for the sustenance of his family the sustenance of parliamentary democracy
More example sentences
  • It thought of the insects and vermin that it had fed on, the most meager of sustenance to maintain its life, but enough to eventually give it the strength to free it self.
  • Democracy's wellsprings and sustenance were of vital importance to Walter Duncan in 1962, just as they are to us today.
  • Every individual has an input and part to play in the creation and sustenance of democracy.
support, maintenance, keep, means of support, means, living, livelihood, subsistence, income, source of income


Middle English: from Old French soustenance, from the verb soustenir (see sustain).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sus¦ten|ance

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