preserve

1 of 2

verb

pre·​serve pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio)
preserved; preserving

transitive verb

1
: to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction : protect
2
a
: to keep alive, intact, or free from decay
b
3
a
: 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)
preservability noun
preservable adjective
preserver noun

preserve

2 of 2

noun

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The panel will highlight perspectives from beyond the West, making the case for liberalism’s universal value and indispensable role in preserving the conditions for human freedom and flourishing globally. Vox Communications, Vox, 11 June 2024 Beard is interested in preserving the downtown area while also moving forward with new development. The Arizona Republic, 10 June 2024
Noun
The 360-acre preserve adjacent to the LEC and Deltona Regional Library is home to a variety of wildlife, including Florida scrub jays and gopher tortoises, which are drawn to the low vegetation and sandy ridges of the scrub habitat. Joe Rassel, Orlando Sentinel, 12 June 2024 Additionally, the center plans to collaborate with the Ho-Chunk Nation to increase land care practices that take into consideration the burial mounds within the preserve. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 11 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for preserve 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'preserve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Medieval Latin praeservare, from Late Latin, to observe beforehand, from Latin prae- + servare to keep, guard, observe — more at conserve

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1698, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near preserve

Cite this Entry

“Preserve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/preserve. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

preserve

1 of 2 verb
pre·​serve pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio)
preserved; preserving
1
: to keep or save from injury, loss, or ruin : protect
preserve the republic
2
: maintain sense 1, continue
preserve silence
3
: to prepare (as vegetables, fruits, or meats) to be kept for future use
preserver noun

preserve

2 of 2 noun
1
: fruit cooked in sugar or made into jams or jellies
strawberry preserves
2
: an area where natural resources (as fish, game, or trees) are protected

Medical Definition

preserve

transitive verb
pre·​serve pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio)
preserved; preserving
1
: to keep alive, intact, or free from decay
2
: to keep or save from decomposition

Legal Definition

preserve

transitive verb
pre·​serve pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio)
preserved; preserving
1
: to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction
expenses necessary to preserve the property
2
a
: 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 caseJ. 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 raisedJ. H. Friedenthal et al.
preservation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on preserve

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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