con·​ser·​va·​tion | \ˌkän(t)-sər-ˈvā-shən \

Definition of conservation 

1 : a careful preservation and protection of something especially : planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect water conservation wildlife conservation

2 : the preservation of a physical quantity during transformations or reactions

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Other Words from conservation

conservational \ ˌkän(t)-​sər-​ˈvā-​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of conservation in a Sentence

They are trying to raise money for conservation. the conservation of the environment She specializes in the conservation of furniture. the conservation of religious shrines
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Recent Examples on the Web

But some conservation groups strongly opposed the decision. Eileen Sullivan, New York Times, "Trump Pardons Oregon Ranchers Whose Case Inspired Wildlife Refuge Takeover," 10 July 2018 Earlier this year, Chesapeake Conservancy began working with conservation groups in Iowa and Arizona to develop training sets for the algorithms specific to those landscapes. Bill Gourgey, WIRED, "How Artificial Intelligence Could Prevent Natural Disasters," 10 July 2018 Grass-roots conservation groups have been among the most vocal opponents of plastic straws, though the push to paper and other biodegradable and recyclable materials has found support in some corporate boardrooms as well. Alana Wise And Caroline Hroncich, The Christian Science Monitor, "Starbucks to phase out plastic straws by 2020," 9 July 2018 The honor is given by the marine conservation group Surfers Against Sewage. Scott Berson, miamiherald, "'Plastic-free' town congratulates itself with a banner. A plastic banner," 13 June 2018 Rob Klavins, field coordinator for Oregon Wild, a conservation group, lives and works on a farm in northeast Oregon and has cattle of his own. Kale Williams,, "As Oregon wolves rebound, tensions rise over livestock attacks," 10 June 2018 Pilot whales mainly feed on squid, but are known to eat octopus and small fish when squid are not available, according to the American Cetacean Society, a whale conservation group. NBC News, "Dead whale found in Thailand with 17 pounds of plastic in its stomach," 3 June 2018 In an era when Wisconsin Legislators have repeatedly ignored requests from conservation groups to increase hunting and fishing license fees, many DNR programs are suffering from a lack of funding. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: End of May is a critical time for Wisconsin elk," 30 May 2018 Shelby O’Neil, a Girl Scout who founded ocean conservation group Jr. Ocean Guardians, reached out to Alaska Airlines last year, pointing out the negative environmental impact of the plastic straws, 22 million of which the carrier used last year. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Girl Scout Convinces Alaska Airlines to Bump Plastic Straws Off All Flights," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conservation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conservation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for conservation

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin conservation-, conservatio, from conservare — see conserve entry 1

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Last Updated

27 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for conservation

The first known use of conservation was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of conservation

: the protection of animals, plants, and natural resources

: the careful use of natural resources (such as trees, oil, etc.) to prevent them from being lost or wasted

: the things that are done to keep works of art or things of historical importance in good condition


con·​ser·​va·​tion | \ˌkän-sər-ˈvā-shən \

Kids Definition of conservation

: planned management of something (as natural resources or historic places) to prevent waste, destruction, damage, or neglect

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playful or foolish behavior

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