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[rez-er-vey-shuh n] /ˌrɛz ərˈveɪ ʃən/
the act of keeping back, withholding, or setting apart.
the act of making an exception or qualification.
an exception or qualification made expressly or tacitly:
to accept something, but with inner reservations.
a tract of public land set apart for a special purpose, as for the use of an Indian tribe.
an arrangement to secure accommodations at a restaurant or hotel, on a boat or plane, etc.
the record kept or assurance given of such an arrangement:
Sorry, the hotel has no reservation under that name.
Origin of reservation
1350-1400; Middle English reservacioun < Middle French reservation, equivalent to reserv(er) to reserve + -ation -ation
Related forms
nonreservation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reservation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He arose, and told his tale without duplicity or reservation.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • The story that suicide is wrong and immoral is, like other things, to be taken with reservation.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • And he's eat everything that's chewable on the reservation already.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • This was another statement Harley had accepted with a good deal of reservation.

  • And so late in 1872 Cochise and his people came back to the reservation.

    When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt
British Dictionary definitions for reservation


the act or an instance of reserving
something reserved, esp hotel accommodation, a seat on an aeroplane, in a theatre, etc
(often pl) a stated or unstated qualification of opinion that prevents one's wholehearted acceptance of a proposal, claim, statement, etc
an area of land set aside, esp (in the US) for American Indian peoples
(Brit) the strip of land between the two carriageways of a dual carriageway
the act or process of keeping back, esp for oneself; withholding
(law) a right or interest retained by the grantor in property granted, conveyed, leased, etc, to another: a reservation of rent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for reservation

late 14c., "act of reserving," from Old French reservation (14c.) and directly from Late Latin reservationem (nominative reservatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin reservare (see reserve (n.)). Mental sense is from c.1600. U.S. sense "tract of public land set aside for some special use" is recorded from 1789, originally in reference to the Six Nations in New York State. Meaning "act or fact of engaging a room, a seat, etc." is from 1904, originally American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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