sustain-v; 3 Senses

Sense Number 1: support; hold up; nurture or provide for

Commentary: Syntax is: NP1 SUSTAIN NP2[benefactor] (PP[manner/durative]) NP1[agent] SUSTAIN NP2[event/state]
NOTE: It may be difficult to distinguish between a sustained benefactor and sustained event or state (which may be metaphorically interpreted as a benefactor); thus, this sense includes both frames mentioned above.

The girders, softened by fire, could no longer sustain the walls of the building.
You can't sustain a family in this country on $50 a week.
Memories of Venice sustained them through the long gray winter.
Mary sustained herself on cigarettes and coffee through graduate school.
She was sustained by the strength of her religious faith.
The love of my family and friends sustained me through my ordeal.
The soil in that planet is not rich enough to sustain lifeforms.
He seems to find it difficult to sustain relationships with women.
A hurricane of that magnitude can sustain winds of over 140 miles per hour.
The runner is sustaining a comfortable lead at this point.
Analysts wonder how long the economy can sustain its current pace. (figurative)

VerbNet: sustain-55.6
FrameNet: NP
PropBank: sustain.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1, 3, 4, 5

Sense Number 2: suffer or experience damage, injury, or loss

Commentary: Syntax is: NP1[patient] SUSTAIN NP2

Both the driver and passenger sustained head injuries.
The club-footed boy sustained a lot of teasing from classmates at the new school.
Most buildings sustained only minimal damage in the earthquake.
The company has sustained heavy losses this year.

VerbNet: NM
FrameNet: NP
PropBank: sustain.02
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2

Sense Number 3: validate, verify

Commentary: Syntax is: NP1 SUSTAIN NP2 NP1[agent] SUSTAIN NP2
NOTE: the agent judges the conduct or evidence as sound

The judge said the objection was sustained.
There is no evidence to sustain the plaintiff's allegations.

VerbNet: NM
FrameNet: NP
PropBank: NM
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 6, 7