con·​ser·​va·​tion ˌkän(t)-sər-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce conservation (audio)
: a careful preservation and protection of something
especially : planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect
water conservation
wildlife conservation
: the preservation of a physical quantity during transformations or reactions
conservational 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
Recent Examples on the Web After a few months, the owls were transferred to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s bird conservation center, where they were eventually paired with the other two owls that were released Tuesday — older birds that acted as mentors, Wisinski explained. Emily Alvarenga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Feb. 2024 The oceans have only gotten noisier since the 1970s, and similar conservation efforts are needed to reduce noise. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 21 Feb. 2024 Understandably, some taxpayers may ask why Americans should care about conservation outside of our borders. Bill Frist, Fortune, 20 Feb. 2024 The abundance of stormwater and snowmelt has energized campaigns led by conservation groups, tribal leaders and air regulators to stop Los Angeles from diverting water from the eastern Sierra watershed. Louis Sahagún, Los Angeles Times, 18 Feb. 2024 Thus, the idea of creating exquisite pieces (some selling for more than $500,000) that can be used to showcase the role of hunters in conservation through stunning, deep-relief engraving while raising funds for conservation was born. Chris Dorsey, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Book in at Post Ranch to explore the expansive acreage and learn more about wildlife conservation. Krista Simmons, Sunset Magazine, 14 Feb. 2024 While the population of the iconic humpback whale has increased, after centuries of hunting, the report calls for strong conservation efforts worldwide. Angela Dewan, CNN, 12 Feb. 2024 The chick’s birth marked an important step forward for African penguin conservation efforts, the Audubon Nature Institute said. Makiya Seminera, Miami Herald, 12 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conservation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English conservacioun "maintenance in good condition," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French conservacion "preservation, protection," borrowed from Latin conservātiōn-, conservātiō "action of keeping intact or unharmed, preservation," from conservāre "to save or keep from danger, preserve, keep unchanged" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at conserve entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near conservation

Cite this Entry

“Conservation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


con·​ser·​va·​tion ˌkän(t)-sər-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce conservation (audio)
: a careful preservation and protection of something
especially : planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, pollution, destruction, or neglect

More from Merriam-Webster on conservation

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