1

reserve

verb re·serve \ ri-ˈzərv \
Updated on: 11 Dec 2017

Definition of reserve

reserved; reserving
transitive verb
1 a : 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

reservable

play \ri-ˈzər-və-bəl\ adjective

Examples of reserve in a Sentence

  1. We reserved a hotel room.

  2. This table is reserved for someone else.

  3. The seats are reserved under my name.

  4. We will reserve this wine for a special occasion.

  5. She usually reserved her best dishes for very important dinners.

Recent Examples of reserve from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of reserve

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

Synonym Discussion of reserve

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

2

reserve

noun, often attributive

Definition of reserve

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
4 a : 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
6 a : 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

Examples of reserve in a Sentence

  1. He had to call upon his inner reserves of strength to keep going.

  2. the salesclerk showed great reserve in dealing with the unreasonable demands of the angry customer

Recent Examples of reserve from the Web

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

1648



RESERVE Defined for English Language Learners

reserve

verb

Definition of reserve for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of reserve for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

reserve

verb re·serve \ ri-ˈzərv \

Definition of reserve for Students

reserved; reserving
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.

2

reserve

noun

Definition of reserve for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

1

reserve

noun re·serve \ ri-ˈzərv \

medical Definition of reserve

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

2

reserve

adjective

medical Definition of reserve

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

Law Dictionary

1

reserve

transitive verb re·serve

legal Definition of reserve

reserved; reserving
: 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

2

reserve

noun

legal Definition of reserve

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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