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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Other projects, focused on preserving and improving existing habitat, and attempting to restore lost habitat, are also ongoing, Smith said. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's most endangered species nears extinction in Oakland County," 13 July 2018 The flower tower also includes a rose preserved in 24-carat gold, rare roses imported from Ecuador, roses in the shape of hearts, and to top it all off, each individual blossom is showered with sparkling diamond dust. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This May Be the World's Most Expensive—And Extravagant—Flower Bouquet," 14 Feb. 2019 But after the Town Board’s trustees were swayed by Dane’s presentation, members of the town staff presented a snowball preserved in a freezer to Dane. Emily S. Rueb, The Seattle Times, "9-year-old boy helps repeal snowball-throwing ban in Colorado town," 5 Dec. 2018 Originally constructed in 1912, the historic home has been renovated with careful intent to preserve its original character and still provide modern amenities. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Charming 1912 house on a private island asks $4.9M," 5 Dec. 2018 Today, Skelton’s Indiana legacy is still alive and strong, partly because of the support of Patricia and Carl Philips and their help in encouraging the comedian’s hometown to preserve his memories. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Reader looking for Red Skelton’s NWI connections," 3 July 2018 Digital sketches show the red oriel windows on the building preserved. Diana Dombrowski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An inside look at the Walker's Point community arts center renovation," 2 July 2018 At Hakai Magazine, Shanna Baker reports on the ongoing bid to preserve C. rhombifer, the breed of Cuban crocodile beloved of Fidel Castro, who was known to send living and embalmed versions of the animal to allies around the world. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "On Saving the Cuban Crocodile from American Invasion," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Authorities have shed light on a police officer who resigned this week amid an investigation into his response to a woman who said she was being harassed in a Chicago forest preserve for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag. CBS News, "Police shed light on cop who resigned after dispute over Puerto Rico flag shirt," 12 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preserve

Statistics for preserve

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preserve

The first known use of preserve was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on preserve

What made you want to look up preserve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!