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preserve Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a domain that seems to be specially reserved for someone
    • medicine is no longer a male preserve
  2. noun a reservation where animals are protected
  3. noun fruit preserved by cooking with sugar
    preserves; conserve; conserves.
  4. verb keep or maintain in unaltered condition; cause to remain or last
    carry on; continue; bear on; uphold.
    • preserve the peace in the family
    • continue the family tradition
    • Carry on the old traditions
  5. verb keep in safety and protect from harm, decay, loss, or destruction
    keep up; maintain; conserve.
    • We preserve these archeological findings
    • The old lady could not keep up the building
    • children must be taught to conserve our national heritage
    • The museum curator conserved the ancient manuscripts
  6. verb to keep up and reserve for personal or special use
    • She saved the old family photographs in a drawer
  7. verb prevent (food) from rotting
    • preserved meats
    • keep potatoes fresh
  8. verb maintain in safety from injury, harm, or danger
    • May God keep you
  9. verb keep undisturbed for personal or private use for hunting, shooting, or fishing
    • preserve the forest and the lakes

Pre*serve" transitive verb
F. préserver, from L. prae before + servare to save, preserve; cf. L. praeservare to observe beforehand. See Serve.
imperfect & past participle Preserved ; present participle & verbal noun Preserving
  1. To keep or save from injury or destruction; to guard or defend from evil, harm, danger, etc.; to protect.
    O Lord, thou preserved man and beast. Ps. xxxvi. 6.
    Now, good angels preserve the king. Shak.
  2. To save from decay by the use of some preservative substance, as sugar, salt, etc.; to season and prepare for remaining in a good state, as fruits, meat, etc.; as, to preserve peaches or grapes.
    You can not preserve it from tainting. Shak.
  3. To maintain throughout; to keep intact; as, to preserve appearances; to preserve silence. Syn. -- To keep; save; secure; uphold; sustain; defend; spare; protect; guard; shield. See Keep.
Pre*serve" intransitive verb
  1. To make preserves. Shak.
  2. To protect game for purposes of sport.
Pre*serve" noun
  1. That which is preserved; fruit, etc., seasoned and kept by suitable preparation; esp., fruit cooked with sugar; -- commonly in the plural.
  2. A place in which game, fish, etc., are preserved for purposes of sport, or for food.

Webster 1913