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

The European Space Agency investigated how lunar colonists might 3-D-print using moon dust, and experiments on rats sent on a simulated Mars mission determined that the red-wine extract resveratrol would help preserve astronauts’ muscle function. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 16 Sep. 2019 Fires — both wild and those set by Native Americans — helped preserve the landscape, which the DNR defines as having more than one tree per acre but less than 50% tree canopy coverage. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin's biggest bur oak is more than 300 years old, and you can only see it during a special event in October," 12 Sep. 2019 But Houston defender Alejandro Fuenmayor arrived to reject the shot at the last moment to help preserve the shutout. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Dynamo record first win under interim coach Davy Arnaud," 11 Sep. 2019 Efforts to install equipment on Mount Hood that would allow scientists to detect the early signs of an eruption have been largely slowed by federal policies designed to help preserve the wilderness, the New York Times reported. Fox News, "Oregon's Mount Hood active volcano lacks adequate monitoring, scientists say," 10 Sep. 2019 But the emphasis Nadal places on ending points as early as possible, which allows him to avoid long rallies, has helped preserve his body. Kevin Craft, The Atlantic, "Rafael Nadal Takes Another Step Toward Tennis History," 9 Sep. 2019 Residents of some darker towns in Colorado hope to preserve the night sky. Dan England, The Know, "Where to go stargazing in Colorado, from parks to small towns," 9 Sep. 2019 The Arctic’s ice helps preserve these snippets of human history. Lucas Joel, Smithsonian, "A Warming Climate Threatens Archaeological Sites in Greenland," 31 Aug. 2019 The cold, dry environment helped preserve the material, along with its cargo of a few dozen roundworm eggs, well enough for parasitologist Romina Petrigh and her colleagues to sequence DNA from the eggs. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "16,000-year-old puma poop yields a sample of Ice Age parasites," 28 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In desperation, some have suggested that the supply of medicines should no longer be the exclusive preserve of big drug firms. The Economist, "A dire scarcity of drugs is worsening, in part, because they are so cheap," 14 Sep. 2019 Destinations will include local waterfalls, open space preserves, local lagoons, grasslands, geological wonders and favorite birding locations. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: It’s perfect time of year for Canyoneer Hikes," 14 Sep. 2019 The duo soon began selling their preserves and condiments at farmers markets. Allison Hagan, BostonGlobe.com, "Stonewall Kitchen has a new owner — and bigger ambitions," 1 Aug. 2019 The eight challenges include using a park trails, exploring the forest preserves and watching the sunset. James Krause, Naperville Sun, "Head to a DuPage Forest Preserve park, trail or lake and be entered to win a prize," 12 June 2019 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

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

19 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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