I'm looking for a single word (if possible) to express the idea of first establishing/attaining a state and then maintaining it (not breaking it or letting it deteriorate).

The word could be applied to any subject, but one example might be the idea of establishing then maintaining mutual trust in a relationship. Perhaps the word could also feasibly apply to things, such as acquiring an object/possession and then keeping it in good shape.

This term would be paired with whatever state or object is the subject of this term. Not sure if it would technically qualify to be a hypernym, if such a term exists, but it sounds like it might.


2 Answers 2


Perhaps secure comes close.

Collins Dictionary:

secure verb
8. (transitive) to obtain or get possession of ⇒ I will secure some good seats
11. (when intr, often foll by against) to make or become certain; guarantee ⇒ this plan will secure your happiness


I think nurture manages to convey both the sense of developing and maintaining something and would certainly work for something like a relationship. Certain objects, such as houseplants, could also be nurtured (i.e. developed from seed), but then you continue to nurture them as you maintain them.

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