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
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

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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 The sign was part of a local effort to preserve the base, in part by appealing to the city’s unique place in Coast Guard history. G. Jeffrey Macdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "A Founding Fathers fight on the North Shore," 13 Feb. 2020 The org also works with the Colorado State Lottery to divert some of the proceeds towards preserving the state’s parks, wildlife, trails, rivers, and open spaces. Jessica Mordo, Sunset Magazine, "Where the Wild Things Are: Programs That Foster Kids’ Connection to the Outdoors," 11 Feb. 2020 Conflicts between human development and the health of wildlife are a universal story, of course—a point underlined by the book’s passing reference to controversies in Texas regarding efforts to preserve the golden-cheeked warbler. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "‘Cat Tale’ Review: From the Brink of Extinction," 7 Feb. 2020 The plan is to make Cascade Creek an integral part of a larger effort to preserve second-growth trees, which are the conifers that grew up after the originals were cut down. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Big grove of old-growth Santa Cruz redwoods saved, helping species restoration," 30 Jan. 2020 Along with the images and tours, the project provides and in-depth look at how the local population in each location is battling against climate change in order to preserve their culture. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Google's New Tool Shows the Impact of Climate Change on World Heritage Sites," 29 Jan. 2020 Areas in Brown County State Park and Yellowwood State Forest will be considered high conservation value forest areas in an effort to preserve the yellowwood tree population. USA TODAY, "More pigeon hats, cushion cash, Chaka Khan: News from around our 50 states," 20 Jan. 2020 This is an approach that experts believe can help preserve natural water bodies by removing the contaminated tailings material. Tawanda Karombo, Quartz Africa, "South Africa has the world’s highest number of environmentally dangerous tailing dams," 16 Jan. 2020 Besides vodka, there are other plant-preserving hacks permeating the internet—vinegar, hairspray, bleach, for example—all of which Miller was skeptical of. Perrie Samotin, Glamour, "I Swear Vodka Is the Only Thing That Keeps My Flowers Alive," 25 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The park was packed with visitors that day, according to the park rangers, who said that the preserve was experiencing one of the busiest days of the season with around 300 cars filling the parking lot. Jon Haworth, ABC News, "6-year-old girl attacked by mountain lion, saved by adult who punched cat in ribs during mauling," 17 Feb. 2020 Some of these create exclusive economic zones where one country has access to the fish stocks; there are also some large oceanic preserves. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers track fishing fleets by putting radar sensors on birds," 29 Jan. 2020 Chapter 8: The nuclear wrap-up Graham Mitchell, formerly of the Ohio EPA, talks about Fernald's legacy and how the preserve now serves as a reminder to the community. cincinnati.com, "Accused podcast, Season 3, Chapter 8: The nuclear wrap-up," 28 Jan. 2020 After the dam was taken out in 2015, some fans of the local nature preserve were startled. Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times, "It’s Fish vs. Dams, and the Dams Are Winning," 20 Jan. 2020 The preserve covers 110 acres and contains forests, meadows, streams and wetlands. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "What are the jobs of Michigan's future? Here's what our leaders see," 28 Dec. 2019 But in October, after an unprecedented drought reduced the forest to tinder, an intense blaze incinerated the preserve. John Pickrell, Science | AAAS, "A fires rage across Australia, fears grow for rare species," 17 Dec. 2019 The Park District of Highland Park is getting some financial help for the conversion of the former Highland Park Country Club golf course into 100 acres of nature preserve and wetlands. Karen Berkowitz, chicagotribune.com, "Pond restoration in Highland Park gets state grant," 2 Dec. 2019 And the litter kept coming at the 419-acre nature preserve flanked by two freeways and a string of industrial parks in eastern L.A. County: baseballs, water hoses, blankets, televisions and tent poles. Los Angeles Times, "At ‘diamond in the rough’ at Whittier Narrows, army of volunteers cleans up nature sanctuary," 29 Sep. 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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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

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preserve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/preserve. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for preserve

preserve

verb
How to pronounce preserve (audio)

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
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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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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