pres·​er·​va·​tion ˌpre-zər-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce preservation (audio)
: the act, process, or result of preserving something: such as
: the activity or process of keeping something valued alive, intact, or free from damage or decay
preservation of state parks/monuments
preservation of an old tradition
The special emphasis of recent years on preservation continued in 1988. More than 8,000 brittle volumes (1.5 million pages) were committed to microfilm; an additional 777 rare books, manuscripts, and historical films received special conservation treatment.Library and Book Trade Almanac
These and so many lesser red flags seem finally to be shifting public interest toward the preservation of wildlife and natural habitats.E. Annie Proulx
: the preparation of food for future use (as by canning, pickling, or freezing) to prevent spoilage
the use of salt in the preservation of meat
In the years following the first Earth Day in 1970, a contingent of Americans insisted on developing pesticide-free systems of farming and anti-chemical methods of food preservation and preparation.Tibbett L. Speer

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of preservation was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near preservation

Cite this Entry

“Preservation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a keeping from injury, loss, or decay

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