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

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Other Words from reserve

Verb

reservable \ ri-​ˈzər-​və-​bəl How to pronounce reservable (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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This year, though, the singer went for something much more reserved. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Cardi B Brought the Red Carpet to the Met Gala," 7 May 2019 Or Twitter could reserve it for users who maliciously publicize old names in a way that’s designed to hurt specific trans users, which seems to be the intent of the policy. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Twitter has banned misgendering or ‘deadnaming’ transgender people," 27 Nov. 2018 Those who reserved a Model 3 early helped Tesla get a sense of the market's demand for the cars well before the company was manufacturing them. Lora Kolodny, USA TODAY, "Tesla ditches reservations, opens up Model 3 car sales to all customers in North America," 10 July 2018 Some people are glued to live parliamentary debates with a dedication normally reserved for soccer, but others have tuned out, unable to bear news of the latest incremental development that seems to resolve nothing. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, "Brexhaustion: Long, grinding Brexit is stressing people out," 12 Apr. 2019 In this space reserved for women (and children) only, the women lead one another in prayer and study. Asma Uddin, Teen Vogue, "On Muslim Women's Day, Women-Only Mosques Are About Much More Than Prayer," 27 Mar. 2019 But Microsoft typically reserved its latest features for Windows 10, the latest OS that already demands the latest hardware. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft ports DirectX 12 to Windows 7, giving some older PC games a performance boost," 13 Mar. 2019 Outrage and subsequent action is reserved for certain communities, and withheld from others. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Dolce & Gabbana's 'Chinese Chopsticks' Ad Isn't the Only Reason We Should Stop Supporting Them," 21 Nov. 2018 Chairs are reserved in advance, and the fleet is usually booked through the three-month season. Avalon R. Zoppo, Philly.com, "Getting her wheelchair on the beach was a struggle. Brigantine just made it easier," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Workers at the Statue of Liberty are being funded by the New York state government during the partial shutdown, for example, while some at the Smithsonian are being paid with reserve funds. Li Zhou, Vox, "Senators are getting paid during the government shutdown. Many low-wage contractors aren’t.," 27 Dec. 2018 Drilling and organic farms Paonia sits in a fertile shadow of the Rockies atop the nation’s second-largest shale gas reserve. Zack Colman, Scientific American, "A Trump Oil Boom Could Transform This Rocky Mountain Landscape," 13 July 2018 Most Read Nation & World Stories Common murres, which can use up fat reserves and starve after three days without eating, fly hundreds miles to find fish schools or krill but were washing up dead on shore. Dan Joling, The Seattle Times, "Pace of Bering Sea changes startles scientists," 16 Apr. 2019 The company’s insurance reserves totaled $712 million at the end of 2016. Tatyana Shumsky, WSJ, "Uber’s $2.94 Billion Insurance Unit Illuminates Challenge of Disruptive Businesses," 11 Apr. 2019 But for stars closer in size to the sun, there's an end stage where—when all the hydrogen reserves are spent—the star expands outward, shredding planets in the path. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Think They've Found a Dead Planetary Core Orbiting a Dead Star," 4 Apr. 2019 Sadly, many drownings happen when families aren't at the pool or beach – kids can have accidents and fall into baths or other reserves of water. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "This Is the Age Your Kids Should Start Swimming Lessons," 3 Apr. 2019 Transfer 4 tablespoons dressing to another bowl; reserve. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Green Salad With Roasted Carrots and Creamy Tarragon Dressing," 11 Mar. 2019 High levels are a sign of diminishing ovarian reserve (i.e. reduced egg numbers and lower egg quality). Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "What Kind of Testing Will My Fertility Specialist Conduct?," 1 Oct. 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

13 May 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 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

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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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