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

That put him at odds with Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, who is pushing a business-friendly approach that would preserve many economic ties to the bloc. Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times, "In Brexit, Trump Finds a British Reflection of His Own Political Rise," 13 July 2018 The proposal crystallizes concerns in the financial sector that Brussels and London weren’t likely to reach an agreement that broadly preserved the status quo. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "After a Week of Turmoil, British Government Publishes Its Plan for Brexit," 12 July 2018 With Kavanaugh in Kennedy’s place, that majority has evaporated, likely replaced with a harder-line majority that could preserve the practice. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "America under Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 While some Americans preserve the top tier of their wedding cake to eat on their first anniversary, the British custom is to serve the wedding cake each time a child of the couple is christened. Maura Hohman, ajc, "Why Kate and William served 7-year-old cake at Prince Louis' christening," 11 July 2018 While some Americans preserve the top tier of their wedding cake to eat on their first anniversary, the British custom is to serve the wedding cake each time a child of the couple is christened. Maura Hohman, PEOPLE.com, "Here's Why Kate and William Served Their 7-Year-Old Wedding Cake at Prince Louis' Christening," 9 July 2018 However, part of its workforce development plan — demolition of homes through deconstruction that would preserve some materials for reuse — is no longer happening. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's showcase neighborhood project falls a year behind schedule," 3 July 2018 The Pack Drumline will provide live music at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. This event is a unique fit with the arboretum’s mission to preserve and protect trees both locally and globally. Jen Banowetz, Naperville Sun, "Bikes are welcome at Morton Arboretum event," 27 June 2018 China and the European Union agreed on Monday to launch a group that will, among other things, preserve support for international trade amid U.S. threats of import controls. Annabelle Liang, The Seattle Times, "Asian stocks dip as trade tensions weigh on US tech sector," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Country Ovens Cherry De-Lite made with Door County tart cherries is an excellent cherry preserves for this recipe. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Table for 1: For solo diners, cooking at home offers many perks," 12 July 2018 Leave No Trace preserves and expands on this story, brought compellingly to life by Ben Foster as the father, Will, and New Zealand actress Thomasin McKenzie as his daughter, Tom. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "'Leave No Trace': Father, daughter are homeless, unless home is where the heart is," 11 July 2018 In Nixon's administration, and later under President Gerald Ford, Reed co-wrote the landmark Endangered Species Act, helped pass the Clean Water Acts, turned more than 80 million acres of Alaska into preserves and defended California's redwoods. Alex Harris, miamiherald, "Nathaniel Reed, 84, co-wrote the Endangered Species Act and icon of Everglades protection," 11 July 2018 Water transports nutrients, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints and internal organs, supports the structure of cells and tissues and preserves cardiovascular function. New York Times, "How to Meet Your Body’s Water Needs," 9 July 2018 The guy is able to fly out for a private tour of a game preserve. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Professor, psychologist and author Adam Grant on Recode Decode," 5 July 2018 Notoriously the modern city preserves traces of nearly all these ancient Romes, often incongruously juxtaposed. Greg Woolf, WSJ, "‘Rome: A History in Seven Sackings’ Review: The City That Survived," 29 June 2018 Will and Tom were homeless, and the first act of the film focuses on their life camping in a large nature preserve outside of Portland, before they’re arrested and taken into custody. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Leave No Trace Is a Shattering, Essential Drama," 28 June 2018 The Halls also grow raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries as well as pear, peach, and apple trees - from which Carmen Hall makes preserves. Annie Gentile, Courant Community, "Willington Celebrates Farm Day," 21 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

5 Sep 2018

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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