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

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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

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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

In March, President Trump signed a budget bill that preserved the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s $445 million federal funding appropriation. Benjamin Mullin, WSJ, "NPR Chief Jarl Mohn to Step Down in June," 4 Dec. 2018 But Guterres stressed that conflict prevention must include investment in mediation, peacebuilding and economic development that preserves the environment. Fox News, "UN chief urges conflict prevention and 'diplomacy for peace'," 30 Aug. 2018 CoQ10 is added to fine line-fighting products to preserve skin-cell function and improve skin texture. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 Finishes include sealers that preserve the wood's look, semi-transparent and semi-solid stains that bring out the wood grains but tint the color, and solid stains and paints that change the color. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "What A Deck Renovation Actually Costs," 13 July 2018 In 1965, the Canadian government established the Indigenous Art Center to preserve and promote contemporary art by indigenous people. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Unprecedented Billboard Campaign Puts Spotlight on Indigenous Artists in Canada," 13 July 2018 In 2004, the palace made the decision to preserve the invaluable creation and start afresh. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Why Prince Louis and Prince George Wore a Different Christening Gown Than Prince William," 9 July 2018 The advisory council also wants to preserve one classroom. Jess Nocera, Howard County Times, "Harriet Tubman High School museum project shifts into higher gear," 3 July 2018 Whether or not your privacy can be preserved in the future while shopping for paper towels is up for debate. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Walmart secured a patent to eavesdrop on shoppers and employees," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Scottsdale has been accumulating land in its preserve for nearly a quarter century. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Hiker alert: 3 trailheads getting upgrades in Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve," 13 July 2018 Alaska is home to 54 million acres of federal parks and preserves. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "A tourist’s guide to legal marijuana in Alaska," 2 May 2018 When the conservation movement began, proponents directed their energy toward creating parks and preserves. Virginia Gewin, The Atlantic, "A Handheld DNA Scanner Could Crack Down on Wildlife Identity Theft," 9 Feb. 2018 Towering windows in the dining and living rooms frame a theatrical green landscape—the house is set in a 500-acre preserve. Gisela Williams, ELLE Decor, "Going Dutch," 15 May 2012 There's also raspberry preserves for some sweetness, as well as cashew butter from Whole Foods and almond butter, for plenty of healthy fats. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "This is Exactly What Bella Hadid Keeps in Her Fridge," 29 Oct. 2018 The 550-acre woodland preserve is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Road Trip: 3 Days in Northern Michigan," 19 July 2018 Turn a bag of ripe fruit into a batch of preserves or jam, or freeze them in an ice cream flavored with a hint of cinnamon or almond extract. Noelle Carter, latimes.com, "Pie, ice cream, dumplings and more great recipes for peaches and nectarines, now in season," 8 June 2018 In California’s Santa Cruz mountains, coyotes that live in preserves adjacent to human activity have shifted to eating a diet of night prey, researcher Justine Smith at Berkeley and her colleagues found last year. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "Humans Are Turning Mammals More Nocturnal," 14 June 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

10 Jan 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 \
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

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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

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Comments on preserve

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to gather or build up little by little

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