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 preserve (audio) \ noun
preservable \ pri-​ˈzər-​və-​bəl How to pronounce preserve (audio) \ adjective
preserver \ pri-​ˈzər-​vər How to pronounce preserve (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 Russia presents one of the most serious intelligence threats to the U.S., using its intelligence services and influence tools to try to divide Western alliances, preserve its influence in the post-Soviet area, and increase its sway around the world. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Peace or no peace, US presence in Afghanistan to end by 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 attacks," 14 Apr. 2021 In this eye-opening narrative of the efforts to raise, preserve, protest, and remove Confederate monuments, Karen L. Cox depicts what these statues meant to those who erected them and how a movement arose to force a reckoning. Karen L. Cox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Black Protesters Have Been Rallying Against Confederate Statues for Generations," 12 Apr. 2021 Keeping the property off MLS helps preserve their privacy. BostonGlobe.com, "MLS? FSBO? Swim with ease through the alphabet soup," 11 Apr. 2021 These organizations continually struggle for creative ideas to preserve their current culture, operating with general uncertainty about how to drive the cultural change needed to seize a new future. Brad Cousins, Forbes, "Is Your Workplace Culture Built For Crisis?," 5 Apr. 2021 But these Columbia records preserve Szigeti’s art at a pinnacle, following his celebrated recordings in London and Paris for EMI but before his technique waned. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "‘Joseph Szigeti: The Complete Columbia Album Collection’ Review: A Violinist’s Head and Heart in Equal Measure," 5 Apr. 2021 Some kinds of rocks preserve traces of the past environment. Benjamin Schoville, Quartz, "Recent research from South Africa is redefining our timeline of human evolution," 4 Apr. 2021 The bill backed by most Republicans in the Legislature would preserve the previous smaller renewable energy standard, which requires utilities to get 15% of their power from renewable sources by 2025. Ryan Randazzo, The Arizona Republic, "Lawmakers' effort to undo clean-energy rules in Arizona advances even as its fate appears doomed," 1 Apr. 2021 The conservancy’s mission is to preserve, protect and shares the natural and cultural resources of the San Dieguito River Valley through joint efforts. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Conservancy receives $10,000 grant for educational website," 30 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The water running out on its own is going to Piney Point creek and into Cockroach Bay, an aquatic preserve in the Tampa Bay north of the facility. Author: Chris O'meara And Adriana Gomez Licon, Anchorage Daily News, "Florida works to avoid ‘catastrophic’ pond collapse," 5 Apr. 2021 The water running out on its own is going to Piney Point creek and into Cockroach Bay, an aquatic preserve in the Tampa Bay north of the facility. Star Tribune, "Florida works to avoid 'catastrophic' pond collapse," 4 Apr. 2021 Key Largo is known as the Dive Capital of the World and is home to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first underwater preserve in the U.S. Tracey Minkin, Travel + Leisure, "Florida Keys Travel Guide," 2 Mar. 2021 Tucked inside Bucharest, Romania, is the largest urban nature preserve in the European Union, the Văcăreşti. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Acasa, My Home’ movingly explores the tug of war between nature and civilization," 14 Jan. 2021 The mother bobcat and her kittens were photographed about two weeks ago in the 560-acre nature preserve in Custer Township that includes prairie, wetlands, dunes and oak savanna that’s in the process of restoration. Nara Schoenberg, chicagotribune.com, "Mother bobcat and her kittens are captured on wildlife camera, 60 miles southwest of Chicago: ‘It was incredible.’," 6 Oct. 2020 The city’s parks master plan, which is expected to be finished later this year, will identify enhanced parking at North Park to accommodate the new nature preserve. John Benson, cleveland, "Seven Hills transforming former radio tower site into nature preserve and passive park," 17 Mar. 2021 Bobcats, black bears, mule deer and mountain lions have been observed in the preserve. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, "Starved of recreation? Try SoCal’s newest set of trails: Ventura’s nature reserve," 13 Mar. 2021 Hiking in the 2,400-acre preserve is more like a stroll through a botanical garden than a backcountry hike. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, "Easy hike in lush Arizona desert preserve has a botanical garden feel. Here's how to do it," 12 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for preserve

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for preserve

Last Updated

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preserve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/preserve. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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 preserve (audio) \ noun

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Comments on preserve

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