[verb kuhn-surv; noun kon-surv, kuhn-surv]

verb (used with object), con·served, con·serv·ing.

to prevent injury, decay, waste, or loss of: Conserve your strength for the race.
to use or manage (natural resources) wisely; preserve; save: Conserve the woodlands.
Physics, Chemistry. to hold (a property) constant during an interaction or process: the interaction conserved linear momentum.
to preserve (fruit) by cooking with sugar or syrup.


Often conserves. a mixture of several fruits cooked to jamlike consistency with sugar and often garnished with nuts and raisins.

Origin of conserve

1325–75; (v.) Middle English < Latin conservāre to save, preserve, equivalent to con- con- + servāre to watch over, guard (akin to servus slave, servīre to serve); (noun) Middle English < Middle French conserve, noun derivative of conserver < Latin, as above
Related formscon·serv·er, nounnon·con·serv·ing, adjective, nounself-con·serv·ing, adjectiveun·con·served, adjectiveun·con·serv·ing, adjectivewell-con·served, adjective

Synonyms for conserve Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for conserve

Contemporary Examples of conserve

Historical Examples of conserve

  • He could preach, but could not conserve the results of his preaching.

    Peter the Hermit

    Daniel A. Goodsell

  • In the evening you are tired and you should conserve your strength.

    Evening Round Up

    William Crosbie Hunter

  • The most important principle is to conserve every particle of moisture in the soil.

    Checking the Waste

    Mary Huston Gregory

  • Let us sum up how the various resources may be used to conserve one another.

    Checking the Waste

    Mary Huston Gregory

  • In the canning of tomatoes, why is it desirable to conserve the juices?

British Dictionary definitions for conserve


verb (kənˈsɜːv) (tr)

to keep or protect from harm, decay, loss, etc
to preserve (a foodstuff, esp fruit) with sugar

noun (ˈkɒnsɜːv, kənˈsɜːv)

a preparation of fruit in sugar, similar to jam but usually containing whole pieces of fruit
Derived Formsconservable, adjectiveconserver, noun

Word Origin for conserve

(vb) C14: from Latin conservāre to keep safe, from servāre to save, protect; (n) C14: from Medieval Latin conserva, from Latin conservāre
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 conserve

late 14c., from Old French conserver (9c.), from Latin conservare "to keep, preserve, keep intact, guard," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + servare "keep watch, maintain" (see observe). Related: Conserved; conserving. As a noun (often conserves) from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper