verb pre·serve \pri-ˈzərv\

: to keep (something) in its original state or in good condition

: to keep (something) safe from harm or loss

: to prevent (food) from decaying


Full Definition of PRESERVE

transitive verb
:  to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction :  protect
a :  to keep alive, intact, or free from decay
b :  maintain
a :  to keep or save from decomposition
b :  to can, pickle, or similarly prepare for future use
:  to keep up and reserve for personal or special use
intransitive verb
:  to make preserves
:  to raise and protect game for purposes of sport
:  to be able to be preserved (as by canning)
pre·serv·abil·i·ty \-ˌzər-və-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
pre·serv·able \-ˈzər-və-bəl\ adjective
pres·er·va·tion \ˌpre-zər-ˈvā-shən\ noun
pre·serv·er \pri-ˈzər-vər\ noun

Examples of PRESERVE

  1. The fossil was well preserved.
  2. These laws are intended to help preserve our natural resources.
  3. They are fighting to preserve their rights as citizens.
  4. a subtance that helps preserve wood
  5. The peaches are preserved in syrup.
  6. Salt can be used to preserve meat.

Origin of PRESERVE

Middle English, from Medieval Latin praeservare, from Late Latin, to observe beforehand, from Latin prae- + servare to keep, guard, observe — more at conserve
First Known Use: 14th century



: a sweet food made of fruit cooked in sugar

: an area where plants, animals, minerals, etc., are protected

: an activity, job, interest, etc., that is available to or considered suitable for only a particular group of people

Full Definition of PRESERVE

:  fruit canned or made into jams or jellies or cooked whole or in large pieces in a syrup so as to keep its shape —often used in plural
:  an area restricted for the protection and preservation of natural resources (as animals or plants) <a game preserve for regulated hunting or fishing> <nature preserves>
:  something regarded as reserved for certain persons

Examples of PRESERVE

  1. a jar of strawberry preserve
  2. Game preserves allow only carefully controlled hunting and fishing.
  3. The military was once an all-male preserve.

First Known Use of PRESERVE


Other Ecology Terms

Malthusian, anthropogenic, biomass, carbon footprint, crepuscular, niche, sere, symbiosis, taiga, tundra


transitive verb pre·serve \pri-ˈzərv\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PRESERVE

:  to keep alive, intact, or free from decay
:  to keep or save from decomposition


Next Word in the Dictionary: preserveressPrevious Word in the Dictionary: preservatoryAll Words Near: preserve
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