AskDefine | Define subsistence

Dictionary Definition



1 minimal (or marginal) resources for subsisting; "social security provided only a bare subsistence"
2 a means of surviving; "farming is a hard means of subsistence"
3 the state of existing in reality; having substance

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Real being; existence.
  2. Inherency; as, the subsistence of qualities in bodies.
  3. That which furnishes support to animal life; means of support; provisions, or that which produces provisions; livelihood; as, a meager subsistence.
  4. Same as Hypostasis, 2.


means of support


Extensive Definition

Subsistence is the food necessary to sustain life.
The following is a list of subsistence techniques:
  • Distribution and Exchange:
    • Redistribution
    • Reciprocity — exchange between social equals.
    • Potlatching — a widely studied ritual in which sponsors (helped by their entourages) gave away resources and manufactured wealth while generating prestige for themselves.
    • LETS — Local Exchange Trading Systems.

See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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