[ pri-zur-vuh-tiv ]
/ prɪˈzɜr və tɪv /


something that preserves or tends to preserve.
a chemical substance used to preserve foods or other organic materials from decomposition or fermentation.


tending to preserve.

Origin of preservative

1350–1400; Middle English (adj. and noun) < Middle French preservatif (adj.) < Medieval Latin praeservātīvus. See preserve, -ative

OTHER WORDS FROM preservative

non·pre·serv·a·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for preservative

British Dictionary definitions for preservative

/ (prɪˈzɜːvətɪv) /


something that preserves or tends to preserve, esp a chemical added to foods to inhibit decomposition


tending or intended to preserve
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

Medicine definitions for preservative

[ prĭ-zûrvə-tĭv ]


A substance added to food products or to organic solutions to prevent decomposition due to chemical change or bacterial action.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.