con·​ser·​va·​tion | \ ˌkän(t)-sər-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce conservation (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from conservation

conservational \ ˌkän(t)-​sər-​ˈvā-​shnəl How to pronounce conservational (audio) , -​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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

All donations in the competition will go to the zoo’s conservation efforts. USA TODAY, "Mowing quest, mayo man, soybean scare: News from around our 50 states," 17 June 2019 Learn wildlife photography skills, including portraiture and camera trapping, and take photos with an eye to inspiring conservation efforts. National Geographic, "Botswana & Victoria Falls High School Expedition," 17 June 2019 All donations in the competition will go to the zoo's conservation efforts. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "'I am ... Groot?': You can choose zoo's bongo calf's 'Guardians of the Galaxy'-themed name," 14 June 2019 But perhaps more importantly to conservation efforts, these are hard animals to study. Sarah Lazarus, CNN, "Used as a natural Viagra in Chinese medicine, seahorse numbers are declining," 6 June 2019 The groups provided amenities and access to the parks and also helped focus attention on conservation efforts., "Brecksville Reservation history hike highlights contributions of New Deal agencies," 6 June 2019 The Singita brand is well-known for its conservation wildlife efforts, while also offering unparalleled glamour in the wild. Paula Rogo, Essence, "EXCLUSIVE: Idris and Sabrina Elba Honeymooned In Safari Bliss At One Of The World's Best Hotels," 6 June 2019 After Steve Irwin's tragic death in 2006, his family—wife Terri, daughter Bindi, and son Robert—have honored his legacy by continuing his wildlife conservation efforts with the Australia Zoo. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Is Bindi Irwin Engaged to Boyfriend Chandler Powell? All About Their Sweet Relationship," 27 May 2019 As a result, python capturing contests are often held in the Everglades, doubling as a sort of cultural pastime and conservation effort. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Capture the Biggest Snake Ever Found in the Florida Everglades," 8 Apr. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conservation

Statistics for conservation

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conservation

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for conservation



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 How to pronounce conservation (audio) \

Kids Definition of conservation

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on conservation

What made you want to look up conservation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!