- to keep alive or in existence; make lasting: to preserve our liberties as free citizens.
- to keep safe from harm or injury; protect or spare.
- to keep up; maintain: to preserve historical monuments.
- to keep possession of; retain: to preserve one's composure.
- to prepare (food or any perishable substance) so as to resist decomposition or fermentation.
- to prepare (fruit, vegetables, etc.) by cooking with sugar, pickling, canning, or the like.
- to maintain and reserve (game, fish, etc.) for continued survival or for private use, as in hunting or fishing.
- to preserve fruit, vegetables, etc.; make preserves.
- to maintain a preserve for game or fish, especially for sport.
- something that preserves.
- that which is preserved.
- Usually preserves. fruit, vegetables, etc., prepared by cooking with sugar.
- a place set apart for protection and propagation of game or fish, especially for sport.
Origin of preserve
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for preserve
Or bold stands that may not preserve our security today or tomorrow, but keep our principles safely intact?Should the U.S. Really Pay a Kim’s Ransom?
December 21, 2014
These cases demonstrate how governments struggle to preserve historic sites.For Rent: Priceless Historic Sites
November 16, 2014
Why do they sincerely try to restore, or preserve, the line between the two, and get heartbroken when the line fails?A Reminder: Our Justices are Politicians in Robes
November 13, 2014
Advocates claimed that it helped to preserve virtue and to affirm the application of Sharia law.Saudi Activist Manal Al-Sharif on Why She Removed the Veil
Manal Al Sharif, Advancing Human Rights
October 30, 2014
In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve.Lincoln Was the Founders’ Heir Apparent
Harvey J. Kaye
October 22, 2014
May the powers that guide our destiny, preserve you from any real cause for shame.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force.
And it is the world's only hope, to conquer poverty and preserve peace.
When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act.
Unless we in America work to preserve the peace, there will be no peace.
- to keep safe from danger or harm; protect
- to protect from decay or dissolution; maintainto preserve old buildings
- to maintain possession of; keep upto preserve a façade of indifference
- to prevent from decomposition or chemical change
- to prepare (food), as by freezing, drying, or salting, so that it will resist decomposition
- to make preserves of (fruit, etc)
- to rear and protect (game) in restricted places for hunting or fishing
- (intr) to maintain protection and favourable conditions for game in preserves
- something that preserves or is preserved
- a special area or domainarchaeology is the preserve of specialists
- (usually plural) fruit, etc, prepared by cooking with sugar
- areas where game is reared for private hunting or fishing
Word Origin and History for preserve
late 14c., "keep safe," from Anglo-French preservare, Old French preserver, from Medieval Latin preservare "keep, preserve," from Late Latin praeservare "guard beforehand," from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + servare "to keep safe" (see observe). As a treatment of fruit, etc., 1570s; of organic bodies from 1610s. Related: Preserved; preserving.
"fruit preserved with sugar," c.1600, from preserve (v.). Earlier it meant "a preservative" (1550s). Sense of "protected place for animals or plants" (a sense more properly belonging to conserve) is from 1807.