preserve

1 of 2

verb

pre·​serve pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio)
preserved; preserving

transitive verb

1
: to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction : protect
2
a
: to keep alive, intact, or free from decay
b
3
a
: to keep or save from decomposition
b
: to can, pickle, or similarly prepare for future use
4
: to keep up and reserve for personal or special use

intransitive verb

1
: to make preserves
2
: to raise and protect game for purposes of sport
3
: to be able to be preserved (as by canning)
preservability noun
preservable adjective
preserver noun

preserve

2 of 2

noun

1
: fruit canned or made into jams or jellies or cooked whole or in large pieces in a syrup so as to keep its shape
often used in plural
2
: an area restricted for the protection and preservation of natural resources (such as animals or plants)
a game preserve for regulated hunting or fishing
nature preserves
3
: something regarded as reserved for certain persons

Examples of preserve in a Sentence

Verb The fossil was well preserved. These laws are intended to help preserve our natural resources. They are fighting to preserve their rights as citizens. The peaches are preserved in syrup. Salt can be used to preserve meat. Noun a jar of strawberry preserve Game preserves allow only carefully controlled hunting and fishing. The military was once an all-male preserve.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
And with the increasing threat of climate change, arborists, researchers, conservationists and others say that they must be protected and preserved – even, perhaps, through cloning. Christopher Cann, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2024 These included the 1999-2002 Coconino County Courthouse additions and remodel, preserving the original 1894 structure, as well as the Health and Human Services Building at King Street. Abigail Celaya, The Arizona Republic, 14 Apr. 2024 Couldn't file for the kids yet because the State still has their legal custody, but filed in an effort to preserve Hildebrandt's wealth and assets until appropriate action can be taken to make the kids whole. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 12 Apr. 2024 The plaintiffs argued that the city violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment when commissioners fixated on preserving the ethnic makeup of the commission by using racial quotas to draw the voting map, packing Hispanic and Black voters into districts. Joey Flechas, Miami Herald, 11 Apr. 2024 His letters to the women, preserved in both his papers and Claude-Anne Lopez’s Mon Cher Papa: Franklin and the Ladies of Paris, helped inspire their portrayals in the limited series. Vanessa Armstrong, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Apr. 2024 Elsewhere on the surface level, Maximus (Aaron Moten) is finding his way as a lowly soldier in the Brotherhood of the Steel – an Army-type organization committed to bettering the wasteland by collecting and preserving technology. Aramide Tinubu, Variety, 10 Apr. 2024 California Historic Sportsmen’s Lodge hotel may be demolished for 520-unit apartment complex April 3, 2024 Some opponents argued that the hotel should be preserved. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2024 Related article Colorful paintings of daily life uncovered in 4,300-year-old Egyptian tomb The pages are preserved behind plexiglass, kept in two lockable wooden boxes. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, 3 Apr. 2024
Noun
The county aims to acquire 500 acres of land each year to add to its preserve, Benham said. Lauren J. Mapp, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Apr. 2024 Fancy it up for Valentine's brunch with a swirl of dark chocolate and raspberry preserves in the batter. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Mar. 2024 To preserve the area's Black history, River Fields, a local organization that protects, preserves, and enhances natural and cultural resources along the Ohio River, stepped in and started a restoration project on the home in the mid-2010s. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, 27 Feb. 2024 Consequently, it was intensely logged from the beginning of the 1900s, when Malawi was a British colony known as Nyasaland, straight through to the country’s independence in 1964, despite the Mulanje Mountains being described as a forest preserve as early as 1927. Mark Jenkins, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Apr. 2024 In Venezuela, roughly 400 firefighters fought a major blaze over the Easter holiday weekend that is threatening the lush Henri Pittier National Park, a beachfront preserve with rare cloud forests, according to the national park service. CNN, 2 Apr. 2024 The archaeological preserve is in Coolidge, a city between Phoenix and Tucson. Helena Wegner, Sacramento Bee, 29 Mar. 2024 Established back in 1933, this storied preserve boasts more than 800 hectares of pristine Lone Star State wilderness, with vast swathes of loblolly pine forest and lengthy hiking trails snaking across the area. Jared Ranahan, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Indigenous Eyes is the exception, as this preserve is situated inside the Puntacana Resort and Club. Mya Guarnieri, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'preserve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Medieval Latin praeservare, from Late Latin, to observe beforehand, from Latin prae- + servare to keep, guard, observe — more at conserve

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1698, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of preserve was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near preserve

Cite this Entry

“Preserve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/preserve. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

preserve

1 of 2 verb
pre·​serve pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio)
preserved; preserving
1
: to keep or save from injury, loss, or ruin : protect
preserve the republic
2
: maintain sense 1, continue
preserve silence
3
: to prepare (as vegetables, fruits, or meats) to be kept for future use
preserver noun

preserve

2 of 2 noun
1
: fruit cooked in sugar or made into jams or jellies
strawberry preserves
2
: an area where natural resources (as fish, game, or trees) are protected

Medical Definition

preserve

transitive verb
pre·​serve pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio)
preserved; preserving
1
: to keep alive, intact, or free from decay
2
: to keep or save from decomposition

Legal Definition

preserve

transitive verb
pre·​serve pri-ˈzərv How to pronounce preserve (audio)
preserved; preserving
1
: to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction
expenses necessary to preserve the property
2
a
: to keep valid, intact, or in existence (as pending a proceeding)
the right of a trial by jury shall be preservedU.S. Constitution amend. VII
the dismissal of a chapter 7 case…reinstates certain transfers voided or preserved in the caseJ. H. Williamson
b
: to maintain for use or consideration at a later time especially by keeping a record of
deposed the witness to preserve her testimony
a party has the option of preserving the objection raisedJ. H. Friedenthal et al.
preservation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on preserve

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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