To support with provisions; to feed; to maintain; as, to subsist one’s family. He laid waste the adjacent country in order to render it more difficult for the enemy to subsist their army. (Robertson)
1. To be; to have existence; to inhere. And makes what happiness we justly call, Subsist not in the good of one, but all. (pope)
2. To continue; to retain a certain state. Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve. (milton)
3. To be maintained with food and clothing; to be supported; to live. To subsist on other men’s charity. (Atterbury)
Origin: L. Subsistere to stand still, stay, remain alive; sub under – sistere to stand, to cause to stand, from stare to stand: cf. F. Subsister. See Stand.