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English definition of “subsistence”

subsistence

noun [U]     /səbˈsɪstəns/ ECONOMICS
the state of having what you need in order to stay alive , but no more: Many people in the town feed their families by subsistence, an economic lifestyle characterized by living off the land . Agricultural production is below subsistence level , leaving many dependent on emergency aid . Many migrant workers are employed at little more than subsistence wages . Maize is the national subsistence food in parts of South Africa .
(Definition of subsistence noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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