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

Assumed to be a Greek trading vessel, the ship was so well preserved because it was buried deep in the Black Sea in anoxic (oxygen-deprived) water. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Greek Trading Ship That Sank 2,400 Years Ago Found Intact," 23 Oct. 2018 Now that the home is for sale, there are two options for the buyer: Remodel and update the fixtures while preserving the historic home, or knock it down. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Elvis Presley’s Former Bel Air Mansion Is For Sale, And I'm All Shook Up," 30 July 2018 Filmed in the short-lived (but well-preserved) Trucolor process, its hues are pastel and boldly deployed, and the use of space is equally daring and expressive. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Dance / Film / On Video Joan Crawford shines in five Hollywood classics," 26 June 2018 Will keeps their homesteading all but invisible in Forest Park, a nature preserve in the mountains just west of Portland, Oregon. Colin Covert, Detroit Free Press, "‘Leave No Trace’ is a moving father-daughter story," 12 July 2018 Five years ago, Bell launched Al Bell Presents, a career development/creation company dedicated to developing up-and-coming unique artists while preserving black music’s art of the past. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Stax Legend Al Bell on Black Music's Living Legacy and Power: 'My Life's Mission Is to Make Sure It Doesn't Die'," 6 July 2018 Now, one surviving example of the sleek stations of yesteryear—a former Texaco at 1650 North Silver Lake Boulevard—looks set to be preserved from demolition by being declared a Historic-Cultural Monument. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "Will Silver Lake’s 1940s Texaco Be Saved From Demolition?," 7 June 2018 For those worried about losing the authenticity and tradition of KFC’s iconic eleven herbs and spices, the chain promises that the same spice mix used to compliment its regular fried chicken variety will be preserved in the new menu item. Carson Kessler, Fortune, "KFC Plans to Test Out Vegetarian Fried Chicken in the U.K.," 6 June 2018 On the one hand, their relationship feels real, loving, worth preserving. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Sacred Games Reinvents the Police Procedural," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Add preserves, 1/2 cup whole cranberries, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar; stir to combine. Anna Helm Baxter, Country Living, "Cranberry Crumb Bars," 30 Oct. 2018 Without wildlife, our national preserves are just scenery. Darryl Fears, chicagotribune.com, "Trump administration moves to end ban on Alaska hunting practices many say are cruel," 22 May 2018 The lingonberries and sea buckthorn used in Selma’s homemade sodas find new life as preserves, which are paired with tiny vintage Scandinavian oyster forks and sturdy spelt crackers. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appetit, "Hesperios Founder Autumn Hruby Just Opened a Cafe in Her Dreamy Manhattan Shop," 21 May 2018 By officially cordoning off parks, preserves, and wildlife sanctuaries, natural habitats and species can flourish. National Geographic, "A Third of Protected Areas Face Human Pressure—What Does it Mean?," 17 May 2018 Although not a large preserve, the views up and down the placid Farmington River are spectacular. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "The Ruins Of An Engineering Wonder Along The Farmington River," 13 May 2018 National wildlife preserves and state parks comprise just 5 percent of the land in the Rio Grande Valley; the other 95 percent are agricultural fields and urban sprawl in one of the fastest-growing regions of the country. James F. Mccarty, cleveland.com, "Eco-tourists enjoy Rio Grande Valley as threat of a border wall threatens habitat," 15 Apr. 2018 The Gorilla Foundation says the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in its sleep at the foundation's preserve in California's Sana Cruz mountains on Tuesday. CBS News, "Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, dead at 46," 21 June 2018 McGuire, 31, once worked as a guide on a nearby high-fence hog-hunting preserve. Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Wild pigs cause millions in damages in California. But hunting them could become easier," 25 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

14 Nov 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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