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
b : maintain
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

conserve, keep up, maintain, save

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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

Dive into this incredible underwater ecosystem alongside marine biologists and conservationists to lend a hand in preserving at-risk habitats, and witness groundbreaking conservation initiatives in action. National Geographic, "Baja and the Sea of Cortez Expedition: Marine Conservation," 15 Sep. 2019 As with Blossom, van Dijk’s work at Playhouse Square led to a specialization in preserving and renovating historic theaters. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Architect Peter van Dijk, who designed Blossom Music Center and helped save Playhouse Square, is dead at 90," 9 Sep. 2019 The restaurant’s 10-foot circular wooden entryway was created by local father and son woodworking team Workerman Studios and finished with yakisugi, a Japanese technique of heating the wood to preserve it. Fortune, "Philadelphia’s Swank New Omakase Restaurant Is Elevated in Every Aspect," 8 Sep. 2019 Incentives would allow developers to build larger buildings in exchange for including affordable housing or preserving it elsewhere. oregonlive, "Portland seeks to address worries about infill housing plan with anti-displacement push," 4 Sep. 2019 The Duke wants local businesses and people to be actively involved in preserving their homes—both driving the change and benefitting from the outcomes. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "Prince Harry's New Initiative Will Keep the Travel Industry Honest on Climate," 3 Sep. 2019 But a wholesome desire to preserve ourselves from foolish or tyrannical rule often devolves into disdaining government altogether. E.j. Dionne Jr., The Mercury News, "Dionne: How government can expand freedom," 27 Aug. 2019 Protests also probably would be loud from those with a financial stake in preserving youth football as is, including youth football leagues and the NFL. Mark Hyman, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Children, tackle football and possible dangers of brain diseases," 25 Aug. 2019 But even among those not so involved in preserving Key deer, the move to strike them from the Endangered Species List seemed premature. Dan Sweeney, sun-sentinel.com, "Key deer still deserve protection as endangered species, readers say," 19 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The agency will have a five-year authorization for ongoing restoration at the preserve. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Coastal Commission OKs habitat restoration plan for Laguna Beach preserve that will close unauthorized trail," 12 Sep. 2019 The lawsuit accused Osborne’s companies of devastating the preserve by polluting it with salt runoff for the past 50 years. D'arcy Egan, cleveland.com, "Sen. Rob Portman frustrated by continuing algal blooms on Lake Erie," 12 Aug. 2019 The preserve is named after Alice McCallister, Weantinoge’s Heritage Land Trust’s founder and first president. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A trip to a Kent preserve Monet might have painted," 2 Aug. 2019 Dating to around 99 million years ago, the fossil preserves part of the bird’s right hindlimb. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "This Prehistoric Bird Had Weirdly Long Toes," 13 July 2019 In an effort to preserve the Dakota skipper, the Minnesota Zoo will release nearly 400 of the butterflies on the preserve. Molly Korzenowski, Twin Cities, "Minnesota Zoo to release 400 endangered Dakota skipper butterflies," 6 July 2019 The trail will be closed west of the Route 56 crossing to Bliss Road within the preserve. Beacon-news Staff, Aurora Beacon-News, "Trail closures planned in Aurora, Sugar Grove," 14 June 2019 The acquisition means the preserve now spans more than 3,600 acres — bigger than Del Mar and Solana Beach combined. Ramona Sentinel, "Dianne’s Corner: Stepping up fire preparedness," 12 June 2019 In desperation, some have suggested that the supply of medicines should no longer be the exclusive preserve of big drug firms. The Economist, "A dire scarcity of drugs is worsening, in part, because they are so cheap," 14 Sep. 2019

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

3 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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

preserve

transitive verb
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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preserve

transitive verb
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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Comments on preserve

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