1 uphold, support, keep up, maintain, continue, keep (someone or something) going, keep alive, preserve; prolong, persist in:
He has been sustained on a life-support system for weeks. If Georgette can sustain the pretence of loving him, he won't change his will.
2 support, carry, bear, bolster, buoy (up), reinforce, keep (someone) going, strengthen, shore up, underpin, prop up, buttress:
During those long months as a hostage, only prayer sustained him.
3 endure, stand, withstand, bear up under, put up with, suffer, undergo, experience, tolerate, weather, brave:
It is amazing how much punishment the human body can sustain.
4 bear, carry, support:
This column is supposed to sustain the weight of half the building.
5 uphold, recognize, allow, admit, approve, ratify, sanction, authorize, endorse, validate:
The judge sustained the objection by the defence.