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

There’s a big political push from the president, who has decided that preserving our heritage is a priority. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Can Egypt Convince the World That It Is Starting Over?," 19 Mar. 2019 Auto-industry executives and lobbyists were also hoping for a deal between California and the White House that would preserve one national standard across all U.S. states. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Trump Administration Cuts Off Talks With California Over Fuel-Efficiency Standards," 21 Feb. 2019 Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee and Democrat Mark R. Warner of Virginia tried to develop a bill that would have largely preserved the operations of Fannie and Freddie while opening the market to competition. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "White House wants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac privatized," 21 June 2018 To preserve freshness, line a baking sheet with damp paper towels, place eggs with the rounded side facing up, and cover with plastic wrap. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Best Deviled Eggs Ever," 29 Mar. 2019 Foster took care to preserve a majestic 80-year-old, 65-foot-tall banyan tree outside the museum. Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, "Palm Beach's Norton Museum of Art Gets a Major New Expansion From Foster + Partners," 5 Feb. 2019 This is the slow food crowd, artists of the earth whose goal is to treat these treasures with the utmost respect, preserving their purity by serving them in the simplest possible fashion. Ruth Reichl, Town & Country, "This Scarlet Prawn Is the Best Seafood You Can Eat," 30 Jan. 2019 Safety Jake Gervase’s interception in the end zone helped preserve a late lead, and a ball-hawking defense compensated for a sputtering offense as Iowa beat No. Steven Wine, The Seattle Times, "Iowa rallies past No. 18 Mississippi State in Outback Bowl," 2 Jan. 2019 Variety has more deets on what the conference actually covers: Themes for the summit center on battling misinformation, advancing the #MeToo movement, preserving journalism, and other progressive topics. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Priyanka Chopra Has Just Been Announced to Speak at a MAJOR, Star-Studded Women's Summit," 14 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The project would restore 118.2 acres of coastal habitat and restore more natural hydrology in the preserve. Tristan Baurick, NOLA.com, "Gator meat, Louisiana caviar and pollution trading: The week's coastal news roundup," 26 Jan. 2018 To get to Mukan Resort, which opened on an islet in the preserve in December, guests of its four beachfront bungalows and five suites take a 45-minute boat ride from Tulum. Elaine Glusac, The Seattle Times, "15 hotels with fresh ideas, from Shanghai to Denali," 11 Jan. 2018 Alaska state wildlife troopers in April 2016 received a tip from Wildlife Safeguard, a nonprofit volunteer citizen organization, that Simpson had taken nonresident hunters to Serpentine Hot Springs within the national preserve. Dan Joling, The Seattle Times, "Alaska guide pleads guilty to herding bears toward clients," 8 Jan. 2019 Some doctors and medical-school executives still think that medicine should be a male preserve--particularly fields like surgery that are seen as physically taxing. Megumi Fujikawa, WSJ, "Medical School’s Exam-Rigging Against Women Prompts Furor in Japan," 7 Aug. 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

18 Apr 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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an act or instance of returning to life

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