reserve

verb
re·​serve | \ ri-ˈzərv How to pronounce reserve (audio) \
reserved; reserving

Definition of reserve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to hold in reserve : keep back reserve grain for seed
b : to set aside (part of the consecrated elements) at the Eucharist for future use
c : to retain or hold over to a future time or place : defer reserve one's judgment on a plan
d : to make legal reservation of
2 : to set or have set aside or apart reserve a hotel room

reserve

noun, often attributive

Definition of reserve (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something reserved or set aside for a particular purpose, use, or reason: such as
a(1) : a military force withheld from action for later decisive use usually used in plural
(2) : forces not in the field but available
(3) : the military forces of a country not part of the regular services also : reservist
b : a tract (as of public land) set apart : reservation
2 : something stored or kept available for future use or need : stock
3 : an act of reserving : qualification
4a : restraint, closeness, or caution in one's words and actions
b : forbearance from making a full explanation, complete disclosure, or free expression of one's mind
5 archaic : secret
6a : money or its equivalent kept in hand or set apart usually to meet liabilities
b : the liquid resources of a nation for meeting international payments
9 : a wine made from select grapes, bottled on the maker's premises, and aged differently from the maker's other wines of the same vintage
in reserve
: held back for future or special use

Other Words from reserve

Verb

reservable \ ri-​ˈzər-​və-​bəl How to pronounce reserve (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for reserve

Verb

keep, retain, detain, withhold, reserve mean to hold in one's possession or under one's control. keep may suggest a holding securely in one's possession, custody, or control. keep this while I'm gone retain implies continued keeping, especially against threatened seizure or forced loss. managed to retain their dignity even in poverty detain suggests a delay in letting go. detained them for questioning withhold implies restraint in letting go or a refusal to let go. withheld information from the authorities reserve suggests a keeping in store for future use. reserve some of your energy for the last mile

Examples of reserve in a Sentence

Verb We reserved a hotel room. This table is reserved for someone else. The seats are reserved under my name. We will reserve this wine for a special occasion. She usually reserved her best dishes for very important dinners. Noun He had to call upon his inner reserves of strength to keep going. the salesclerk showed great reserve in dealing with the unreasonable demands of the angry customer See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Those flying into Charlottesville Albermarle Airport (CHO) can rent a car at the location — just be sure to reserve ahead of time. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 1 June 2022 In the summer months, guests are able to reserve an overnight stay only, but beware; the sun will only go down for a few hours. Katie Lockhart, House Beautiful, 1 June 2022 The networks are hopeful that automakers will seek to reserve time for 2023, when there is an expectation of new model launches. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 1 June 2022 Visitors can simply walk in or reserve a stop ahead of time. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 June 2022 Baines also said it’s common for bouncers to accept cash at the door to allow patrons to skip the line, reserve a table or order bottle service. Kevin Redfern, The Arizona Republic, 30 May 2022 For more information about Grande Lakes Orlando, its Grande Summer programming and to reserve your stay, visit the resort website. Alexandra Kirkman, Forbes, 28 May 2022 Samsung just opened up a reservation system for the monitor, offering a $50 discount to those who reserve one. Mark Knapp, PCMAG, 23 May 2022 And now, for an additional charge, visitors will be able to reserve space on the 400-foot-high Sky Tower to watch the show and be served Champagne and chocolate. Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel, 19 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Crack cocaine kind of hit my reserve in my early 20s. Jingnan Peng, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 June 2022 This reduces the young man to convulsive tears, prompting Halim finally to abandon his reserve and offer comfort. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 May 2022 Put on the spot by public discussions of these potential conflicts, Mr. Corrigan emerged from his usual reserve to address the issue. Jon Hilsenrath, WSJ, 19 May 2022 This slim novel is written in a cool, elegant voice, like that of a singer who never wastes a note and who suggests strong emotion underneath her reserve. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Apr. 2022 The federal government set out to fulfill a critical need for thousands of medical workers added to its emergency reserve. Amy Nakamura, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2022 That prompted the president who has promised a future without fossil fuels to make a record-setting release from the U.S. petroleum reserve to help tamp down the cost of gasoline. chicagotribune.com, 14 Jan. 2022 The reserve also held cryptocurrencies Binance coin and Avalanche. Caitlin Ostroff, WSJ, 24 May 2022 Biden added during the press conference on Monday that his administration has taken steps to prevent the price at the pump from going even higher, such as the release of 1 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum reserve. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 24 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reserve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of reserve

Verb

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

Noun

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reserve

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French reserver, from Latin reservare, literally, to keep back, from re- + servare to keep — more at conserve

Learn More About reserve

Time Traveler for reserve

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near reserve

reservatory

reserve

reserve account

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for reserve

Last Updated

6 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reserve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reserve. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for reserve

reserve

verb
re·​serve | \ ri-ˈzərv How to pronounce reserve (audio) \
reserved; reserving

Kids Definition of reserve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to arrange to have set aside and held for someone's use I called to reserve a hotel room.
2 : to keep in store for special use She believed that Sundays should be reserved for family activities.— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot
3 : to keep from using until a future time We need to reserve our strength.
4 : to hold over to a future time or place Reserve judgment until you know the facts.

reserve

noun

Kids Definition of reserve (Entry 2 of 2)

1 reserves plural : military forces held back or available for later use
2 : an area of land set apart a nature reserve
3 : caution in words and behavior
4 : something stored for future use oil reserves
5 : an act of setting something aside for future use

reserve

noun
re·​serve | \ ri-ˈzərv How to pronounce reserve (audio) \

Medical Definition of reserve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something stored or kept available for future use or need oxygen reserve — see cardiac reserve
2 : the capacity of a solution to neutralize alkali or acid when its reaction is shifted from one hydrogen-ion concentration to another especially : the capacity of blood or bacteriological media to react with acid or alkali within predetermined and usually physiological limits of hydrogen-ion concentration — compare buffer, buffer solution

reserve

adjective

Medical Definition of reserve (Entry 2 of 2)

: constituting or having the form or function of a reserve a reserve supply reserve strength

reserve

transitive verb
re·​serve
reserved; reserving

Legal Definition of reserve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to keep back or set apart: as
a : to keep (a right, power, or interest) especially by express declaration all rights reserved — compare waive
b : to defer a determination of (a question of law) the justices reserved the question because it was not an issue in the case

reserve

noun

Legal Definition of reserve (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something stored or kept available for future use an energy company with various unproven oil reserves
2 : an act of reserving
3 : money kept in a separate account to meet future liabilities
legal reserve
: the minimum amount as determined by government standards of the deposits held by a bank or of the assets of a life insurance company required by law to be kept as reserves
loss reserve
1 : a reserve allocated by a bank for the purpose of absorbing losses a loan loss reserve
2 : an insurance company's reserve representing the discounted value of future payments to be made on losses which may have already occurred
policy reserve
: an insurance company's reserve representing the difference in value between the net premiums and assumed claims for a given year in life insurance
unearned premium reserve
: a reserve of funds which represents premiums paid to an insurance company but not yet applied to policy coverage and from which a policyholder is paid a refund in the event of cancellation prior to the period for which premiums have been paid
with reserve
: with a reserve price and with a seller reserving the right to reject all bids

Note: A sale at auction is with reserve if there is no explicit indication to the contrary.

without reserve
: without a reserve price and with the seller bound to accept the highest bid

More from Merriam-Webster on reserve

Nglish: Translation of reserve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reserve for Arabic Speakers

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