Upkeep is the process of caring for something so that it keeps working. Changing your car's oil every 5,000 miles is an important part of its upkeep.

An actor's monthly visits to the salon for highlights show how much he cares about his hair's upkeep, while a city manager's focus might be on the upkeep of roads and bridges. In either case, there's a kind of maintenance or care involved. Sometimes this noun describes something closer to "financial support," like when a divorcing couple argues about who's responsible for the upkeep of their seven poodles.

Definitions of upkeep
  1. noun
    activity involved in maintaining something in good working order
    synonyms: care, maintenance
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    camera care
    keeping a camera in good working order
    car care
    keeping a car in good working order
    inspection and repair, overhaul, service
    periodic maintenance on a car or machine
    pump priming
    introducing water into a pump to improve the seal and start the water flowing
    scheduled maintenance
    maintenance at a regularly scheduled time
    steam fitting
    care (installation and maintenance) of equipment for ventilating or heating or refrigerating
    oil change
    replacing dirty oil with clean
    interim overhaul
    an overhaul between the regular times for overhauling
    type of:
    fix, fixing, fixture, mend, mending, repair, reparation
    the act of putting something in working order again
  2. noun
    the act of sustaining life by food or providing a means of subsistence
    synonyms: maintenance, sustainment, sustenance, sustentation
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    type of:
    the activity of providing for or maintaining by supplying with money or necessities
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