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

Thanks to widespread manufacturing, Irish moss found a whole slew of new applications, such as stabilizing chocolate milk and being combined with ascorbic acid to form a preservative film over frozen foods. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "The Most Irish Town in America Was Built on Seaweed," 23 July 2019 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

Typically these have high salt and sugar content that can act as a preservative. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Power out? Here's what to do with refrigerated and frozen foods," 22 July 2019 These foods all contain nitrates or nitrites, preservatives used to cure meats that prevent them from spoiling and give them that rosy color. Alix Wall, sun-sentinel.com, "Some much-loved American Jewish classic foods may increase risk of cancer," 10 July 2019 Demand for cold storage is also being elevated by consumers’ growing aversion to chemical food preservatives. Roger Vincent, latimes.com, "All that online grocery shopping is causing a cold storage shortage," 7 July 2019 Among Meridian’s ingredients: Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone, two preservatives that nonprofit Environmental Working Group report are associated with allergic reactions and irritation of the skin, eyes, and lungs. Stephie Grob Plante, Vox, "Some people held in border detention centers are being forced to bathe themselves with shampoo. The issue is far bigger than personal hygiene.," 3 July 2019 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

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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Statistics for preservative

Last Updated

6 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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