preservative

adjective
pre·​ser·​va·​tive | \ pri-ˈzər-və-tiv How to pronounce preservative (audio) \

Definition of preservative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having the power of preserving

preservative

noun

Definition of preservative (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that preserves or has the power of preserving specifically : an additive used to protect against decay, discoloration, or spoilage

Examples of preservative in a Sentence

Noun

This food does not contain any artificial preservatives. The wood was treated with preservative.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

For bogs, the acidity has remarkable preservative effects—think bog bodies—and keeps the environment limited to highly specialized species that can tolerate such harsh environments. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "How Humble Moss Healed the Wounds of Thousands in World War I," 28 Apr. 2017 For cut flowers: Fill a clean vase halfway with lukewarm water, and mix in half or the entire preservative bag that comes with your flowers. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, "Punch List: What to do outdoors in your garden in February, plus tips on seeds," 3 Feb. 2017 Reliably clean water wouldn't arrive until 1842’s opening of the Croton Aqueduct, and thanks to its boiling process and the preservative nature of hops, beer was safer to drink than water until then. Keith Flanagan, USA TODAY, "New York City's beer trail," 27 Apr. 2017 For bogs, the acidity has remarkable preservative effects—think bog bodies—and keeps the environment limited to highly specialized species that can tolerate such harsh environments. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "How Humble Moss Healed the Wounds of Thousands in World War I," 28 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Railroad ties are treated with preservatives and don’t rot quickly. Paul Berger, WSJ, "Falling Debris From New York City Elevated Subway Sparks Probe," 28 June 2019 The long and short of it is that many detergents contain toxic chemicals (like 1,4-dioxane, a potential carcinogen), preservatives, and artificial fragrances and dyes, all of which can aggravate the skin, according to both experts. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "How to Tell If Your Laundry Detergent Is Messing With Your Skin," 15 June 2019 On the other hand, shelf-stable nut butters are typically made with preservatives, and will be safe to eat when kept in your pantry. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How You Should Actually Store Condiments," 9 Oct. 2018 Beware of frozen shrimp (or any seafood) sourced from Asia, where many fisheries engage in questionable labor practices and soak their seafood in chemical preservatives. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Cooking shellfish: Chef Paul Arias shares recipes and tips," 18 June 2019 Those waves and microbubbles essentially punch temporary holes in the red blood cells, opening a gateway through which the preservative sugars enter. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "U of L researchers develop freeze-dried blood that could save soldiers and astronauts," 12 June 2019 So far, foods made with GMOs, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial preservatives or coloring struggle the most to keep the term. Leslie Nemo, Bon Appetit, "How the FDA's New Definition for "Natural" Food Could Affect Your Pantry," 30 Apr. 2018 McDonald’s has made a series of high-profile efforts to improve the quality of its iconic menu items, such as removing artificial preservatives from McNuggets, and the introduction of the all-day breakfast in 2015. Flora Carr, Time, "McDonald's Is Making a Big Change to the Beef in its Hamburgers," 6 Mar. 2018 The chain is also looking to simplify ingredients by removing or reducing artificial flavors, colors and preservatives where possible, and find ways to serve more fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean protein and water in Happy Meals. Joey Morona, cleveland.com, "McDonald's is banishing cheeseburgers, chocolate milk from Happy Meals," 15 Feb. 2018

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for preservative

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

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More Definitions for preservative

preservative

noun

English Language Learners Definition of preservative

: a chemical that is added to food to keep it fresh longer
: a substance that is used on wood to prevent it from decaying

preservative

noun
pre·​ser·​va·​tive | \ pri-ˈzər-vət-iv How to pronounce preservative (audio) \

Kids Definition of preservative

: a substance added to food to keep it from spoiling

preservative

noun
pre·​ser·​va·​tive | \ pri-ˈzər-vət-iv How to pronounce preservative (audio) \

Medical Definition of preservative

: something that preserves or has the power of preserving specifically : an additive used to protect against decay, discoloration, or spoilage a food preservative

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More from Merriam-Webster on preservative

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preservative

Spanish Central: Translation of preservative

Nglish: Translation of preservative for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about preservative

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