View synonyms for reserve


[ ri-zurv ]

verb (used with object)

, re·served, re·serv·ing.
  1. to keep back or save for future use, disposal, treatment, etc.

    Synonyms: store, hold, husband

    Antonyms: squander

  2. to retain or secure by express stipulation.
  3. to set apart for a particular use, purpose, service, etc.:

    ground reserved for gardening.

  4. to keep for oneself.
  5. to retain (the original color) of a surface, as on a painted ceramic piece.
  6. to save or set aside (a portion of the Eucharistic elements) to be administered, as to the sick, outside of the Mass or communion service.


  1. Finance.
    1. cash, or assets readily convertible into cash, held aside, as by a corporation, bank, state or national government, etc., to meet expected or unexpected demands.
    2. uninvested cash held to comply with legal requirements.
  2. something kept or stored for use or need; stock:

    a reserve of food.

    Synonyms: supply

  3. a resource not normally called upon but available if needed.
  4. a tract of public land set apart for a special purpose:

    a forest reserve.

  5. an act of reserving; reservation, exception, or qualification:

    I will do what you ask, but with one reserve.

  6. Military.
    1. a fraction of a military force held in readiness to sustain the attack or defense made by the rest of the force.
    2. the part of a country's fighting force not in active service.
    3. reserves, the enrolled but not regular components of the U.S. Army.
  7. formality and self-restraint in manner and relationship; avoidance of familiarity or intimacy with others:

    to conduct oneself with reserve.

    Antonyms: warmth

  8. reticence or silence.

    Synonyms: coldness, constraint, taciturnity

    Antonyms: warmth


  1. kept in reserve; forming a reserve:

    a reserve fund; a reserve supply.

  2. of or relating to the animal awarded second place in livestock shows:

    the reserve champion steer.


/ rɪˈzɜːv /


  1. to keep back or set aside, esp for future use or contingency; withhold
  2. to keep for oneself; retain

    I reserve the right to question these men later

  3. to obtain or secure by advance arrangement

    I have reserved two tickets for tonight's show

  4. to delay delivery of (a judgment), esp in order to allow time for full consideration of the issues involved


    1. something kept back or set aside, esp for future use or contingency
    2. ( as modifier )

      a reserve stock

  1. the state or condition of being reserved

    I have plenty in reserve

  2. a tract of land set aside for the protection and conservation of wild animals, flowers, etc

    a nature reserve

  3. Also calledreservation an area of land set aside, esp (in the US and Canada) for American or Canadian Indian peoples
  4. an area of publicly owned land set aside for sport, recreation, etc
  5. the act of reserving; reservation
  6. a member of a team who only plays if a playing member drops out; a substitute
  7. often plural
    1. a part of an army or formation not committed to immediate action in a military engagement
    2. that part of a nation's armed services not in active service
  8. coolness or formality of manner; restraint, silence, or reticence
  9. finance
    1. a portion of capital not invested (a capital reserve ) or a portion of profits not distributed (a revenue or general reserve ) by a bank or business enterprise and held to meet legal requirements, future liabilities, or contingencies
    2. often plural liquid assets held by an organization, government, etc, to meet expenses and liabilities
  10. without reserve
    without reservations; fully; wholeheartedly

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • reˈservable, adjective
  • reˈserver, noun

Discover More

Other Words From

  • re·serva·ble adjective
  • re·serveless adjective
  • nonre·serva·ble adjective
  • nonre·serve noun adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of reserve1

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English reserven (verb) from Middle French reserver, from Latin reservāre “to keep back, retain,” equivalent to re- re- + servāre “to save”

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of reserve1

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

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. in reserve, put aside or withheld for a future need; reserved:

    money in reserve.

  2. 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.

Discover More

Synonym Study

See keep.

Discover More

Example Sentences

As far as logistics, we reserve two hours in calendars but we try to hit 90 minutes.

The difference, Nesbitt said, was that this time the city reserved more than 1,000 of the 2,500 appointments for patients who called to sign up.

In communities with large reserves of social capital, people trust their institutions and their neighbors.

The company will likely begin by allowing a limited number of employees to reserve office space if desired.

From Digiday

Chairlift grazing not only reserves more time for skiing but also can keep you energized throughout the day.

We reserve the right to any legal action to prevent new pranks of the kind.

Stone, according to Marine officials, served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

The actor and police enthusiast reportedly wants to be a reserve officer.

Some prisons reserve the dayroom or common area for weddings.

Thank you, Federal Reserve for printing all that money for the past half dozen years.

In sorting notes it is necessary to be able readily to distinguish between notes of this bank and notes of other reserve banks.

The dormant accounts most of the banks maintain with the reserve bank are, perhaps, indicative of their attitude toward it.

At the reserve bank they may borrow as a standing right and not as a favor which may be cut off.

She never realized that the reserve of her own character had much, perhaps everything, to do with this.

Customers will do things in the name of the Federal Reserve System which they have never done before.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




reservationistreserve bank