preserve

verb
pre·​serve | \ pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio) \
preserved; preserving

Definition of preserve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction : protect
2a : to keep alive, intact, or free from decay
3a : to keep or save from decomposition
b : to can, pickle, or similarly prepare for future use
4 : to keep up and reserve for personal or special use

intransitive verb

1 : to make preserves
2 : to raise and protect game for purposes of sport
3 : to be able to be preserved (as by canning)

preserve

noun

Definition of preserve (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : fruit canned or made into jams or jellies or cooked whole or in large pieces in a syrup so as to keep its shape often used in plural
2 : an area restricted for the protection and preservation of natural resources (such as animals or plants) a game preserve for regulated hunting or fishing nature preserves
3 : something regarded as reserved for certain persons

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Other Words from preserve

Verb

preservability \ pri-​ˌzər-​və-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce preservability (audio) \ noun
preservable \ pri-​ˈzər-​və-​bəl How to pronounce preservable (audio) \ adjective
preserver \ pri-​ˈzər-​vər How to pronounce preserver (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for preserve

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of preserve in a Sentence

Verb The fossil was well preserved. These laws are intended to help preserve our natural resources. They are fighting to preserve their rights as citizens. The peaches are preserved in syrup. Salt can be used to preserve meat. Noun a jar of strawberry preserve Game preserves allow only carefully controlled hunting and fishing. The military was once an all-male preserve.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Films like No Safe Spaces are invaluable weapons in helping to preserve open debate and dialogue in this county. John Fund, National Review, "In No Safe Spaces, an Odd Couple Teams Up to Fight Free-Speech Bans," 3 Nov. 2019 In contrast, governments in other countries use religion to justify morality laws that in turn help preserve conservative and repressive rule. BostonGlobe.com, "On Sunday, China issued new morality guidelines that instruct people on how to be model citizens in all aspects of life — from directives to ‘‘defend China’s honor’’ to be ‘‘civilized’’ eaters, sort garbage, and lower one’s carbon footprint while traveling.," 1 Nov. 2019 The bats can fly as high as 10,000 feet and travel around 60 miles from the cave hunting for food, which in turn helps preserve local crops. Natalie Brand, CBS News, ""They're everywhere!": Inside the world's largest bat colony at Bracken Cave Preserve in Texas," 31 Oct. 2019 Federal and state incentives are created to help preserve National Register places. USA TODAY, "‘Nightmare’ roof, fire-starting drones, Pennywise Jeep: News from around our 50 states," 29 Oct. 2019 Derrick White helped the Spurs preserve the win by blocking a Bradley Beal driving layup at the final buzzer. ... Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers vs San Antonio Spurs: Game preview, TV channel, how to watch live stream," 28 Oct. 2019 Stemming from a desire to be involved in the community and to help preserve Middletown’s intrinsic character, Devoto began to attend local government meetings. Sarah Wesley Lemire, courant.com, "Middletown’s irrepressible cool: On what accounts for this city’s passionate, tight-knit community pulse," 20 Oct. 2019 The elderly and some vulnerable groups aren’t always comfortable using mobile phone apps, and bank branches can help preserve their ability to live independently. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "As branches close, tiny US community banks are sticking around," 17 Oct. 2019 One week after losing his job as Tennessee’s starting quarterback, Guarantano stepped in for the injured Maurer and helped preserve the lead. Steve Megargee, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Defense delivers as Tennessee tops Mississippi State 20-10," 12 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Statistically speaking, bison attacks are a relatively rare occurrence on Antelope Island, a 42-square-mile preserve in the Great Salt Lake that is one of Utah's most popular parks and also home to hundreds of free-range bison. oregonlive, "Utah man took a date to the park where he was gored by a bison, figuring it wouldn’t happen again. He was wrong.," 1 Oct. 2019 The cleanup has intensified since Tempe residents overwhelmingly voted to make Papago Park a preserve in 2018. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Tempe taxpayers on the hook for 2016 fire that damaged Historical Society Museum," 11 Sep. 2019 The whitetail business may also operate as a shooting preserve, according to DATCP. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: An elk that died on a farm in Burnett County had CWD, so a feeding and baiting ban is imminent," 28 Aug. 2019 The park is made up of land purchased by the state, county and city to provide recreational opportunities and a nature preserve. Larry Barszewski, sun-sentinel.com, "A private company now owns part of a county park. How could that happen?," 19 Aug. 2019 The series includes four evenings on Tuesdays and eight Saturday classes at nature centers in area parks and preserves. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events," 18 Aug. 2019 Biologists used to say that the best plan to conserve wildlife is to set aside parks and preserves. National Geographic, "As wolverines battle to survive, warming poses a new threat," 11 July 2019 The law created 10 new national parks, preserves and monuments but said agency rules would not apply on state or private land within the conservation units that are not federally owned. Dan Joling, The Seattle Times, "Alaska moose-hunter can ‘rev up’ his hovercraft, court rules," 27 Mar. 2019 Ahead is a 50-mile expanse of wilderness, forest and redwoods and about 40 parks and preserves. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Poke a hole in the sky, change your life forever," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preserve.' 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 preserve

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1698, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for preserve

Verb

Middle English, from Medieval Latin praeservare, from Late Latin, to observe beforehand, from Latin prae- + servare to keep, guard, observe — more at conserve

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Statistics for preserve

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for preserve

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

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More Definitions for preserve

preserve

verb
How to pronounce preserve (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of preserve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to keep (something) in its original state or in good condition
: to keep (something) safe from harm or loss
: to prevent (food) from decaying

preserve

noun

English Language Learners Definition of preserve (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sweet food made of fruit cooked in sugar
: an area where plants, animals, minerals, etc., are protected
: an activity, job, interest, etc., that is available to or considered suitable for only a particular group of people

preserve

verb
pre·​serve | \ pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio) \
preserved; preserving

Kids Definition of preserve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to keep or save from injury, loss, or ruin : protect The laws will help preserve rain forests.
2 : to prepare (as by canning or pickling) fruits or vegetables to be kept for future use
3 : maintain sense 2, continue preserve silence

Other Words from preserve

preserver noun

preserve

noun

Kids Definition of preserve (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a sweet food made of fruit cooked in sugar often used in pl.strawberry preserves
2 : an area where land and animals are protected
pre·​serve | \ pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio) \
preserved; preserving

Medical Definition of preserve

1 : to keep alive, intact, or free from decay
2 : to keep or save from decomposition

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pre·​serve | \ pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio) \
preserved; preserving

Legal Definition of preserve

1 : to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction expenses necessary to preserve the property
2a : to keep valid, intact, or in existence (as pending a proceeding) the right of a trial by jury shall be preservedU.S. Constitution amend. VII the dismissal of a chapter 7 case…reinstates certain transfers voided or preserved in the case— J. H. Williamson
b : to maintain for use or consideration at a later time especially by keeping a record of deposed the witness to preserve her testimony a party has the option of preserving the objection raised— J. H. Friedenthal et al.

Other Words from preserve

preservation \ ˌpre-​zər-​ˈvā-​shən How to pronounce preservation (audio) \ noun

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