kept or set apart for some particular use or purpose.
kept by special arrangement for some person: a reserved seat.
formal or self-restrained in manner and relationship; avoiding familiarity or intimacy with others: a quiet, reserved man.
characterized by reserve, as the disposition, manner, etc.: reserved comments.
retaining the original color of a surface, especially when decorating portions of the surface with other colors.

Nearby words

  1. reserve officer,
  2. reserve officers training corps,
  3. reserve price,
  4. reserve tranche,
  5. reserve-grade,
  6. reserved list,
  7. reserved occupation,
  8. reserved power,
  9. reserved word,
  10. reservedly

Origin of reserved

late Middle English word dating back to 1425–75; see origin at reserve, -ed2

Related forms



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 confusedre-serve reserve



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

to keep back or save for future use, disposal, treatment, etc.
to retain or secure by express stipulation.
to set apart for a particular use, purpose, service, etc.: ground reserved for gardening.
to keep for oneself.
to retain (the original color) of a surface, as on a painted ceramic piece.
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. 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.
something kept or stored for use or need; stock: a reserve of food.
a resource not normally called upon but available if needed.
a tract of public land set apart for a special purpose: a forest reserve.
an act of reserving; reservation, exception, or qualification: I will do what you ask, but with one reserve.
  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.
formality and self-restraint in manner and relationship; avoidance of familiarity or intimacy with others: to conduct oneself with reserve.
reticence or silence.


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.

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

Can be confusedre-serve reserve Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reserved

British Dictionary definitions for reserved



set aside for use by a particular person or peoplethis table is reserved
cool or formal in manner; restrained, silent, or reticent
destined; fatedreserved for great things
referring to matters that are the responsibility of the national parliament rather than a devolved regional assemblydefence is a reserved issue
Derived Formsreservedly (rɪˈzɜːvɪdlɪ), adverbreservedness, noun



(tr) to serve again


verb (tr)

to keep back or set aside, esp for future use or contingency; withhold
to keep for oneself; retainI reserve the right to question these men later
to obtain or secure by advance arrangementI have reserved two tickets for tonight's show
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
the state or condition of being reservedI have plenty in reserve
a tract of land set aside for the protection and conservation of wild animals, flowers, etca nature reserve
Also called: reservation Canadian an area of land set aside, esp (in the US and Canada) for American or Canadian Indian peoples
Australian and NZ an area of publicly owned land set aside for sport, recreation, etc
the act of reserving; reservation
a member of a team who only plays if a playing member drops out; a substitute
(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
coolness or formality of manner; restraint, silence, or reticence
  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
without reserve without reservations; fully; wholeheartedly
Derived Formsreservable, adjectivereserver, noun

Word Origin for reserve

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

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 reserved
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for reserved




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.