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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

The problem, Murton notes, is that what his team learned on the Tropic Seamount puts mining and conservation on a collision course. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Mountains hidden in the deep sea are biological hot spots. Will mining ruin them?," 12 Sep. 2019 That’s why the aquarium and so many other conservation and science organizations have joined with government and business leaders to support SB 54 and AB 1080. Julie Packard, The Mercury News, "Opinion: How California can create a future free of unnecessary plastic waste," 11 Sep. 2019 The department said in a news release that the proposals would allow a conservation agent to authorize actions such as thermal imaging to take wildlife causing damage to private property. USA TODAY, "Animation behind bars, Elliott the elk, SkyStar: News from around our 50 states," 10 Sep. 2019 The first condition is that every one of the world’s major polluting countries institute draconian conservation measures, shut down much of its energy and transportation infrastructure, and completely retool its economy. Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker, "What If We Stopped Pretending?," 8 Sep. 2019 The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy was launched in 2015 with the aim of linking all 53 Commonwealth countries under an umbrella of sustainable forest conservation initiatives. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Archie Will Make an Appearance on Prince Harry & Duchess Meghan's Tour of Africa," 7 Sep. 2019 Nye will retire at the end of the month, leaving behind a legacy of sustainability and conservation. Marie Fazio,, "Shedd Aquarium horticulturalist-beekeeper to retire after 25 years, leaving legacy of sustainability," 6 Sep. 2019 Details of Harry, Meghan and Archie's trip to Africa have been revealed this morning, and honoring Diana's legacy, women's empowerment and conservation all high on the agenda. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle "Hope to Include Archie" in the Public Program for their Royal Visit to Africa," 6 Sep. 2019 According to conservation services at Audobon Florida, radar images often show birds in the eye of hurricanes, unable to escape through the eyewall. Ricky Pinela,, "Hurricane Dorian has birds trapped within its eye, meteorologist says," 6 Sep. 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.

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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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Statistics for conservation

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

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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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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