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

Some Colorado towns are taking action to preserve their remaining mobile home parks. Washington Post, "Colorado towns take action to preserve mobile home parks," 17 Sep. 2019 There’s more, but the point is: In all times and places, cabbage has been valued for its plenteousness, cheapness, long shelf life, and ability to be preserved for an even longer shelf life. NBC News, "From common to cool: The lowly cabbage has become a star," 16 Sep. 2019 While some of the additional patents represent true incremental innovation, many are deployed strategically to preserve a company's monopoly rights on the original discovery. CNN, "Big Pharma is abusing patents, and it's hurting Americans," 12 Sep. 2019 Turkish outlet Star claims that a Liverpool scout at Trabzonspor’s recent Super Lig clash with Fenerbahce was impressed with Cakir’s performance in the 1-1 draw, making eight saves to preserve a point for his side against the Istanbul giants. SI.com, "Liverpool Scout Trabzonspor Stopper as Reds Explore Further Goalkeeping Options," 4 Sep. 2019 With no computers to rely on, Johnson and his team worked in secret and by hand, often fabricating parts during off hours and on Sundays at their Lockheed factory to preserve the program’s secrecy, even from other employees. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "Why the U-2 Is Such a Badass Plane," 4 Sep. 2019 Bryson Reeves intercepted a pass deep in St. Francis territory in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory. Charles Rich, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Weekly Football Previews: La Cañada vs. Viewpoint; St. Francis vs. Damien; Flintidge Prep vs. Sage Hill," 3 Sep. 2019 Bryson Reeves intercepted a pass deep in St. Francis territory in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory. Charles Rich, Glendale News-Press, "Football Previews: CV vs. Montebello; Prep vs. Sage Hill; St. Francis vs. Damien; Glendale vs. San Gabriel," 3 Sep. 2019 Now named in honor of the attraction’s founder, the Newton Perry Underwater Mermaid Theater sports new floors, seating, lighting and ceilings, all designed to preserve the theater’s mid-century theme, according to park service officials. Joy Wallace Dickinson, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida’s mermaid spring still sings its siren song," 2 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The technology industry is a white, male preserve, with women often relegated to lesser positions. Evelyn Iritani, Quartz at Work, "White men and minority groups have different definitions of “sufficient” diversity," 5 Sep. 2019 Surviving stands of old native trees, such as oaks, in forest preserves and other natural areas, are particularly rare and useful, according to Scott. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "Large, old trees are an important part of the history of our country and communities," 21 June 2019 The agency will have a five-year authorization for ongoing restoration at the preserve. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Coastal Commission OKs habitat restoration plan for Laguna Beach preserve that will close unauthorized trail," 12 Sep. 2019 The lawsuit accused Osborne’s companies of devastating the preserve by polluting it with salt runoff for the past 50 years. D'arcy Egan, cleveland.com, "Sen. Rob Portman frustrated by continuing algal blooms on Lake Erie," 12 Aug. 2019 The preserve is named after Alice McCallister, Weantinoge’s Heritage Land Trust’s founder and first president. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A trip to a Kent preserve Monet might have painted," 2 Aug. 2019 Dating to around 99 million years ago, the fossil preserves part of the bird’s right hindlimb. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "This Prehistoric Bird Had Weirdly Long Toes," 13 July 2019 In an effort to preserve the Dakota skipper, the Minnesota Zoo will release nearly 400 of the butterflies on the preserve. Molly Korzenowski, Twin Cities, "Minnesota Zoo to release 400 endangered Dakota skipper butterflies," 6 July 2019 The trail will be closed west of the Route 56 crossing to Bliss Road within the preserve. Beacon-news Staff, Aurora Beacon-News, "Trail closures planned in Aurora, Sugar Grove," 14 June 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 Oct 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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