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

Richard was an avid gardener and spent many hours growing plants from seed and enjoying his flowers and fruits and vegetables that Madeline then preserved for family meals. courant.com, "Richard Mangan," 1 Sep. 2019 Liverpool have made the perfect start to their Premier League campaign, thumping Arsenal 3-1 in their last outing and preserving their 100% record after three games. SI.com, "Liverpool: The XI That Should Start Against Burnley," 30 Aug. 2019 Many of those workers were Irish immigrants, and this museum, encompassing five tiny and lovingly preserved alley houses, provides a hint of what life was like for them in the 1840s. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "8 ways to celebrate Labor Day weekend in Baltimore," 29 Aug. 2019 The children of the Jewish faith would carry on the teachings of the Torah, preserving the faith. Jamie Swinnerton, Houston Chronicle, "Chabad of The Woodlands celebrates milestone with new Torah," 29 Aug. 2019 Soefer and Vandewater wanted to celebrate their house’s past, preserving as many features as possible, like the millwork, shiplap walls, and longleaf pine floors. Alia Akkam, House Beautiful, "You Need to See How a Sad 1920s House Was Restored to a Colorful, Pattern-Filled Home," 29 Aug. 2019 Russia says preserving the cease-fire in Idlib depends on the elimination of thousands of militants. Time, "Russia Is Trying to Sell Turkey Its Own Stealthy New Fighter After U.S. Revoked Access to F-35," 27 Aug. 2019 For his film adaptation of the book, the director Richard Linklater extracts and stages the events that the documents describe, only occasionally preserving traces of Semple’s devices. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” Reviewed: Richard Linklater’s Narrow View of a Creator in Crisis," 26 Aug. 2019 There might be other reasons to preserve certain stories, too. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland.com, "Radiolab podcast features cleveland.com’s Right to be Forgotten," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The park, with more than 200 acres, is a peaceful preserve with expanses of pine forests, salt marshes and rocky coastline. Pamela Wright, BostonGlobe.com, "8 state parks in New England to visit this fall," 3 Sep. 2019 The program offers a choice of 13 different hiking trails in parks and nature preserves in the county. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland.com, "Trekking Through Autumn offers incentives to Medina County Parks hikers," 1 Sep. 2019 If the setting of policy, the writing of laws and the administration of justice were the preserve of different people, absolute power could not end up in one set of hands. The Economist, "How Viktor Orban hollowed out Hungary’s democracy," 29 Aug. 2019 This does somewhat undermine arguments about technology transfer and road-relevance, although that's not really the preserve of open-wheel racing in the first place. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "900hp hybrids are coming for the 2022 IndyCar season," 1 Aug. 2019 The press box used to be a male preserve—that was its charm. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "In Praise of Doris Burke, Basketball’s Best TV Analyst," 13 June 2019 And ever more are enjoying the experience—once the preserve of a metropolitan elite—of calm streets, squares and parks. The Economist, "Streets ahead," 1 Aug. 2019 And if going a bit rogue, by adding zest, juice, booze, spice or fruity preserves to your cream or pudding, let your taste buds guide you. Jessie Sheehan, Washington Post, "How to make an icebox cake, the coolest (literally!) no-bake dessert," 1 Aug. 2019 Additionally, much of the island is under land preserve to encourage conservation instead of overdevelopment. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "Embracing indoor-outdoor living in the South Carolina marshlands," 29 July 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

17 Sep 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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