preserve

verb
pre·​serve | \pri-ˈzərv \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from preserve

Verb

preservability \ pri-​ˌzər-​və-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
preservable \ pri-​ˈzər-​və-​bəl \ adjective
preservation \ ˌpre-​zər-​ˈvā-​shən \ noun
preserver \ pri-​ˈzər-​vər \ noun

Synonyms for preserve

Synonyms: Verb

conserve, keep up, maintain, save

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Will keeps their homesteading all but invisible in Forest Park, a nature preserve in the mountains just west of Portland, Oregon. Colin Covert, Detroit Free Press, "‘Leave No Trace’ is a moving father-daughter story," 12 July 2018 Five years ago, Bell launched Al Bell Presents, a career development/creation company dedicated to developing up-and-coming unique artists while preserving black music’s art of the past. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Stax Legend Al Bell on Black Music's Living Legacy and Power: 'My Life's Mission Is to Make Sure It Doesn't Die'," 6 July 2018 Now, one surviving example of the sleek stations of yesteryear—a former Texaco at 1650 North Silver Lake Boulevard—looks set to be preserved from demolition by being declared a Historic-Cultural Monument. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "Will Silver Lake’s 1940s Texaco Be Saved From Demolition?," 7 June 2018 For those worried about losing the authenticity and tradition of KFC’s iconic eleven herbs and spices, the chain promises that the same spice mix used to compliment its regular fried chicken variety will be preserved in the new menu item. Carson Kessler, Fortune, "KFC Plans to Test Out Vegetarian Fried Chicken in the U.K.," 6 June 2018 On the one hand, their relationship feels real, loving, worth preserving. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Sacred Games Reinvents the Police Procedural," 12 July 2018 Igari, an ardent fireworks follower based in Ibaraki Prefecture, attends up to 10 fireworks shows each summer, driven by his quest to preserve the pyrotechnical displays. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "'Fire Flowers' Dazzle in Gorgeous Photos of Japanese Fireworks," 4 July 2018 Further investigations revealed that his stomach’s contents were very well preserved. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Before He Died, Ötzi the Iceman Ate a Greasy, Fatty Meal," 13 July 2018 It was then treated with a sodium bithiolate solution and covered with a glass plate to be preserved, Kozachuk explained in her statement. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "'Haunting' faces of 'ghosts' reappear in world's oldest photos," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Gorilla Foundation says the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in its sleep at the foundation's preserve in California's Sana Cruz mountains on Tuesday. CBS News, "Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, dead at 46," 21 June 2018 McGuire, 31, once worked as a guide on a nearby high-fence hog-hunting preserve. Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Wild pigs cause millions in damages in California. But hunting them could become easier," 25 June 2018 The preserve is home to a unique part of the Sonoran Desert. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Hiker alert: 3 trailheads getting upgrades in Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve," 13 July 2018 Brutally long working hours are not just the preserve of Japanese office workers and laborers. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Brutal hours aren’t just for salarymen: Japanese monk sues temple for overwork," 17 May 2018 Gorongosa, an animal preserve that has been ravaged by years of civil war, is the main focus for Idaho entrepreneur, humanitarian and philanthropist Greg Carr. Dana Oland, idahostatesman, "Zoo Boise is about to get bigger and better. Meet the guy who will help make it happen. | Idaho Statesman," 13 May 2018 On the opposite shore is Lake June-In-Winter Scrub Preserve State Park, an 845-acre preserve that doesn’t have much in the way of amenities, but has a few hiking trails and a quiet shore from which to fish or launch a canoe or kayak. Richard Tribou, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Highlands County: Home of the hookiemelt," 6 May 2018 Country Ovens Cherry De-Lite made with Door County tart cherries is an excellent cherry preserves for this recipe. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Table for 1: For solo diners, cooking at home offers many perks," 12 July 2018 Leave No Trace preserves and expands on this story, brought compellingly to life by Ben Foster as the father, Will, and New Zealand actress Thomasin McKenzie as his daughter, Tom. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "'Leave No Trace': Father, daughter are homeless, unless home is where the heart is," 11 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preserve

Statistics for preserve

Last Updated

31 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preserve

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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 \
preserved; preserving

Medical Definition of preserve 

1 : to keep alive, intact, or free from decay

2 : to keep or save from decomposition

Keep scrolling for more

preserve

transitive verb
pre·​serve | \pri-ˈzərv \
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 \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on preserve

What made you want to look up preserve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!