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
preservation \ ˌpre-​zər-​ˈvā-​shən How to pronounce preservation (audio) \ noun
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

Then in the fourth, the squad was one out away from preserving a 1-0 shutout but that’s when the team’s fourth error of the night - a bad throw to second base, gave Santa Fe a tying run. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "NASA All-Stars have backs against the wall after opening-night District 14 loss," 24 June 2019 Rockwell’s Four Freedoms pictures concern fundamental, timeless values, like protecting and feeding one’s family, praying to one’s God, respecting the beliefs of others, and preserving a destiny and purpose shared by everyone. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "A Closer Look at Rockwell’s Four Freedoms," 22 June 2019 Damascus formed in a burst of optimism, with residents hoping to ward off urban encroachment from Gresham, Sandy and Happy Valley but quickly found the decision didn’t preserve their quiet character. oregonlive.com, "Zombie city Damascus in a battle for its soul, future," 22 June 2019 People like Lewis and Lucier are trying to make sure records of his era and his deeds are preserved. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "As the GI Bill turns 75, Arizona's Sen. Ernest McFarland is remembered for key role," 21 June 2019 Americans and others around the world have turned increasingly to dietary supplements in order to maintain or preserve their brain health. Steven Dekosky, The Conversation, "Supplements for brain health show no benefit – a neurologist explains a new study," 20 June 2019 Jimmie works as an elder-care nurse, though his real job is preserving the memory of that old Victorian, his childhood home. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Last Black Man in San Francisco’ a gorgeous, moving ode to a city in flux," 20 June 2019 Along with programs aimed at conserving wetlands, cleaning up rivers and preserving other natural systems, the oyster shell program has been named a Conservation Wrangler by Texan by Nature, which Bush founded in 2011. USA TODAY, "Child rock climber, baby doll scare, real-life RoboCop: News from around our 50 states," 20 June 2019 The bones and preserved bodies of climbers who didn’t make it to the summit, revealed as the peak’s glaciers recede, are, for some, more than enough evidence that warming temperatures are melting the Himalayan glaciers at an increasingly quick clip. Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, "Spy-Satellite Images Reveal How Climate Change Is Rapidly Melting the Himalayan Glaciers," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her Sweet Whispers are crisp, yet airy little cookies with key lime, passion fruit, blackberry or raspberry preserves tucked inside; more flavors are on the way. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Light as Air and Filled With Flavor," 2 July 2018 The mother and daughter northern white rhinos that live in a Kenya wildlife preserve are not capable of bearing calves. Time, "A Pregnant Rhino in San Diego Could Help Save a Related Subspecies," 19 May 2018 The volunteer tourism program took place on a 40,000 acre game preserve. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland.com, "LOCAL LEGEND Judge Dale Chase," 8 Mar. 2018 Alaska has 10 national preserves covering nearly 37,000 square miles. CBS News, "Trump administration moves to allow hunters to lure brown bears with bacon, doughnuts," 22 May 2018 The bridge allows for easier access to the preserves by vehicle, walking or biking. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "Naperville News Digest," 25 May 2018 Similarly, the preserves display perfectly represents all the colors of the season, according to Jo, while the weaving and paintbrushes symbolize life and creativity, simultaneously. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "You’ve Got To See How Joanna Gaines Plans Magnolia’s Fall Displays," 29 Aug. 2018 People from both nations walk their dogs, and a high school track team runs laps in the preserve, jointly managed by Washington state and the province of British Columbia. Larry Bleiberg, USA TODAY, "10 great places to explore along the Canadian border," 29 June 2018 Pontoon and canoe rides, youth fishing derby, biking, geocaching and nature trail walks will be available in the preserve. Houston Chronicle, "Family Fun: Art Car Parade and Houston Japan Festival," 11 Apr. 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.

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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

27 Jun 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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