[ ri-zurv ]
/ rɪˈzɜrv /

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



kept in reserve; forming a reserve: a reserve fund; a reserve supply.
of or relating to the animal awarded second place in livestock shows: the reserve champion steer.


    in reserve, put aside or withheld for a future need; reserved: money in reserve.
    without reserve,
    1. without restraint; frankly; freely.
    2. (of articles at auction) without limitation as to the terms of sale, especially with no stipulated minimum price.

Origin of reserve

1325–75; Middle English reserven (v.) < Middle French reserver < Latin reservāre to keep back, retain, equivalent to re- re- + servāre to save


1 husband, hold, store. See keep.
8 supply.
14 taciturnity, constraint, coldness.

Related forms

re·serv·a·ble, adjectivere·serve·less, adjectivenon·re·serv·a·ble, adjectivenon·re·serve, noun, adjective

Can be confused

re-serve reserve

Definition for reserve (2 of 2)


[ ree-surv ]
/ riˈsɜrv /

verb (used with or without object), re-served, re-serv·ing.

to serve again.

Origin of re-serve

First recorded in 1865–70; re- + serve

Can be confused

re-serve reserve Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reserve

British Dictionary definitions for reserve (1 of 2)


/ (rɪˈzɜːv) /

verb (tr)


Derived Forms

reservable, adjectivereserver, noun

Word Origin for reserve

C14: from Old French reserver, from Latin reservāre to save up, from re- + servāre to keep

British Dictionary definitions for reserve (2 of 2)


/ (riːˈsɜːv) /


(tr) to serve again
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 reserve


[ rĭ-zûrv ]


To keep back, as for future use or for a special purpose.
To set or cause to be set apart for a particular person or use.


Something kept back or saved for future use or a special purpose.


Held back, set aside, or saved.
Forming a reserve.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.