reserve

verb
re·​serve | \ ri-ˈzərv \
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

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Other Words from reserve

Verb

reservable \ ri-​ˈzər-​və-​bəl \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The result is that even in 2018, certain file names are still off-limits to the average user because Windows reserves them for other things. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "This Modern-Day Computer Bug Dates Back to 1974," 5 Nov. 2018 As the wife of the future king, her visits may command the attention of the world, but her manner is reserved and those who meet her are often surprised by how low-key the encounter feels. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton's Experiences as a Mother Have Profoundly Shaped Her Focus for 2019," 23 Jan. 2019 Don’t miss the cemetery, either, where the carvings atop each tombstone indicate that person’s station in life (a fez headdress was reserved for government officials, a turban for someone of the religious order, an anchor for a seaman, and so on). Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Three Days In Istanbul," 28 Dec. 2018 Another bill would let the full Legislature or individual chambers automatically intervene in lawsuits, a power that until now has been reserved for the state attorney general. David Eggert, The Seattle Times, "GOP power play in Michigan must go through pragmatic Snyder," 17 Dec. 2018 The giant volcanoes of Hawaii's Big Island held a special place for the Polynesians who first settled there, with the peak of Mauna Kea being reserved for that society's elite. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Hawaiian Supreme Court gives go-ahead to giant telescope," 1 Nov. 2018 Prior to this update, the direct video feeds from the cameras have been hidden from users and are reserved for Tesla’s internal use in the event of crashes. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Tesla’s long-awaited dash cam functionality will arrive in the next software update," 18 Sep. 2018 The Core+ branding was reserved for systems that shipped with both Core processors as well as Intel’s Optane Memory technology, which speeds up the other storage in your PC. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel kills Optane 'Core+' desktop processor bundles as 3D XPoint venture dissolves," 15 Jan. 2019 But the serious benefits of GPS III are reserved for the military. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "USAF's Next-Gen GPS Satellites Will Be a Huge Upgrade...Eventually," 26 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Despite having the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela is suffering soaring levels of malnutrition, disease and violence after 20 years of socialist rule launched by the late President Hugo Chavez. Scott Smith, The Seattle Times, "Venezuela’s crisis hits stand-still over emergency aid," 12 Feb. 2019 These symptoms may be more severe in people who have lower reserves to fight off illness, including people who are very young or elderly, people who have compromised immune systems, and people who are pregnant, Dr. Adalja says. Jenna Flannigan, SELF, "8 Surprising Food Safety Mistakes You Might Be Making," 11 Jan. 2019 Remove foil and, using a paper towel, carefully peel beets (reserve cooking liquid). Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Swiss Chard and Beets," 7 Jan. 2019 One was that if a US-Saudi spat led to a cutoff of Saudi oil (as happened over Israel in the 1970s), then the American economy was badly hurt by higher prices and the Soviet economy was simultaneously helped by stronger foreign currency reserves. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Reconsidering the US-Saudi relationship," 19 Oct. 2018 The union argues that the district is hoarding reserves of $1.8 billion that could be used to fund the pay and staffing hikes. Christopher Weber, The Seattle Times, "Parents wonder if kids are learning amid Los Angeles strike," 14 Jan. 2019 Proven reserves of the world’s top oil companies have fallen by more than 30 percent on average since 2000, with only Exxon and BP showing an improvement, helped by acquisitions, Bernstein said. Fortune, "There Are Fears About an Oil Spike Above $150," 6 July 2018 But her womanhood is a hollow, brittle performance, masking deep reserves of cruelty. Sonia Saraiya, HWD, "Sharp Objects Is Stunning, Raw, and Violently Beautiful," 5 July 2018 The state party has a reserve of active organizers and candidates, as well as donors with deep pockets. Melissa Davlin, idahostatesman, "Republicans navigate intersection of traditional values, societal change and young voices," 30 June 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for reserve

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reserve

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

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More Definitions for reserve

reserve

verb

English Language Learners Definition of reserve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make arrangements so that you will be able to use or have (something, such as a room, table, or seat) at a later time
: to keep (something) for a special or future use
: to choose to do (something) at a later time

reserve

noun

English Language Learners Definition of reserve (Entry 2 of 2)

: a supply of something that is stored so that it can be used at a later time
: a military force that is additional to the regular forces and that is available if it is needed
: an area of land where animals and plants are given special protection

reserve

verb
re·​serve | \ ri-ˈzərv \
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 \

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on reserve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reserve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reserve

Spanish Central: Translation of reserve

Nglish: Translation of reserve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reserve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on reserve

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