[rez-er-vey-shuh n]


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 formsnon·res·er·va·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reservation

Contemporary Examples of reservation

Historical Examples of reservation

  • 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 plural) 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
British 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 anothera 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

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