pres·​er·​va·​tion | \ ˌpre-zər-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce preservation (audio) \

Definition of preservation

: the act, process, or result of preserving something: such as
a : the activity or process of keeping something valued alive, intact, or free from damage or decay preservation of state parks/monuments preservation of an old tradition The special emphasis of recent years on preservation continued in 1988. More than 8,000 brittle volumes (1.5 million pages) were committed to microfilm; an additional 777 rare books, manuscripts, and historical films received special conservation treatment.Library and Book Trade Almanac These and so many lesser red flags seem finally to be shifting public interest toward the preservation of wildlife and natural habitats.— E. Annie Proulx
b : the preparation of food for future use (as by canning, pickling, or freezing) to prevent spoilage the use of salt in the preservation of meat In the years following the first Earth Day in 1970, a contingent of Americans insisted on developing pesticide-free systems of farming and anti-chemical methods of food preservation and preparation.— Tibbett L. Speer

First Known Use of preservation

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of preservation was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Preservation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of preservation

: the act of keeping something in its original state or in good condition
: the act of keeping something safe from harm or loss
: the act of using a particular treatment on a food so that it can be eaten in the future


pres·​er·​va·​tion | \ ˌpre-zər-ˈvā-shən \

Kids Definition of preservation

: the effort of keeping from injury, loss, or decay wildlife preservation preservation of historic buildings

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