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 conservation (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 Brett Scheffers, a conservation biologist at the University of Florida, who was not involved with the study, agrees these cafés could normalize exotic animals as pets and help raise demand. Danielle Beurteaux, Scientific American, "Exotic Animal Cafés Featuring Otters, Lizards and Owls Raise Alarms," 30 Dec. 2020 Karen Oberhauser is a conservation biologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bob Timmons, Star Tribune, "Discovered butterfly tag in Mexico represents monarchs' tale of survival," 24 Dec. 2020 That’s exactly why captive devils have not been released into Tasmania since 2016, says Carolyn Hogg, a conservation biologist at the University of Sydney. Jason Bittel, Animals, "Gruesome cancer afflicting Tasmanian devils may be waning, a hopeful sign," 10 Dec. 2020 The urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed some unlikely scientists into the fray, including a forensic anthropologist and a conservation biologist, egged on by their frisky African gray parrot. Eleanor Cummins, Science, "Bats, museums, and viruses collide in this scientific love story," 4 Dec. 2020 The Friends of Gillette Castle State Park is a nonprofit, all-volunteer group dedicated to the preservation, conservation and educational activities of the building and its grounds., "Community News For The Colchester Edition," 25 Nov. 2020 Commissioner Nelwyn McInnis, who is a conservation biologist, voted against it. Bill Mchugh,, "Planning commission approves just one subdivision," 19 Oct. 2020 David Philipp, an avid angler and conservation biologist at the Fisheries Conservation Foundation, has been studying bass populations in the lakes and rivers of southern Ontario for 30 years. Natalie Gallón, CNN, "Can nature heal itself? What the pandemic has shown us," 2 Oct. 2020 Daniel Kovar, Great Parks conservation biologist, said in the release that the floating wetlands also are a safe and non-invasive way to control the Canada geese population in the area. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, "Great Parks installs first-ever 'floating wetlands' at Parky's Farm in Winton Woods," 5 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler for conservation

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for conservation

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conservation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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