[ kuh n-sur-vuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
/ kənˈsɜr vəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i /

noun, plural con·serv·a·to·ries.

a school giving instruction in one or more of the fine or dramatic arts; specifically, a school of music.
a greenhouse, usually attached to a dwelling, for growing and displaying plants.
Archaic. a place where things are preserved.


serving or adapted to conserve; preservative.


Nearby words

  1. conservatize,
  2. conservatoire,
  3. conservator,
  4. conservatorium,
  5. conservatorship,
  6. conserve,
  7. consett,
  8. consider,
  9. considerable,
  10. considerably

Origin of conservatory

1555–65; < Latin conservā(re) (see conserve) + -tory2; in the sense “music school” < French or Italian; see conservatoire Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for conservatory

British Dictionary definitions for conservatory


/ (kənˈsɜːvətrɪ) /

noun plural -tories

a greenhouse, esp one attached to a house
another word for conservatoire


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

Word Origin and History for conservatory



1560s, "preservative;" 1660s, "greenhouse," from stem of conservation + -ory. In sense "school for performing arts" it is recorded from 1842, from Italian conservatorio or French conservatoire, originally "hospital for foundlings in which musical education was given."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper