from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To keep from injury, peril, or harm; protect. synonym: defend.
  • intransitive verb To keep in perfect or unaltered condition; maintain unchanged.
  • intransitive verb To keep or maintain intact.
  • intransitive verb To prepare (food) for storage or future use, as by canning or salting.
  • intransitive verb To prevent (organic bodies) from decaying or spoiling.
  • intransitive verb To protect (wildlife or natural resources) in a designated area, often for regulated hunting or fishing.
  • intransitive verb To maintain (an area) for the protection of wildlife or natural resources.
  • intransitive verb To treat fruit or other foods so as to prevent decay.
  • intransitive verb To maintain an area for the protection of wildlife or natural resources.
  • noun Something that acts to preserve; a preservative.
  • noun Fruit cooked with sugar to protect against decay or fermentation.
  • noun An area maintained for the protection of wildlife or natural resources.
  • noun Something considered as being the exclusive province of certain persons.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun That which preserves or saves.
  • noun Specifically plural A kind of spectacles with colored glasses to protect the eyes from too strong light.
  • noun That which is preserved, or prepared for keeping; especially, fruit, meats, etc., suitably seasoned and cooked to prevent fermentation or spoiling.
  • noun A place where game is preserved; a place set apart for the protection and propagation of game intended for hunting or fishing.
  • noun A thing preserved.
  • To keep safe or free from harm; defend from injury or destruction; save.
  • To maintain; secure permanence to; keep in existence or alive; make lasting: as, to preserve one's good looks.
  • To keep possession of; retain.
  • To prepare in such a manner as to resist decomposition or fermentation; prevent from spoiling by the use of preservative substances, with or without the agency of heat: as, to preserve meats or fruit; to preserve an anatomical specimen.
  • To maintain and reserve for personal or special use in hunting or fishing.
  • To prepare decomposable substances, as meats or fruits, for preservation; make preserves.
  • To raise and protect game for special use, as in hunting or fishing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun That which is preserved; fruit, etc., seasoned and kept by suitable preparation; esp., fruit cooked with sugar; -- commonly in the plural.
  • noun A place in which game, fish, etc., are preserved for purposes of sport, or for food.
  • intransitive verb To make preserves.
  • intransitive verb To protect game for purposes of sport.
  • transitive verb To keep or save from injury or destruction; to guard or defend from evil, harm, danger, etc.; to protect.
  • transitive verb 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..
  • transitive verb To maintain throughout; to keep intact
  • transitive verb to protect it from extermination.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A sweet spread made of any of a variety of berries.
  • noun A nature preserve.
  • verb To protect; to keep; to maintain the condition of.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb to keep up and reserve for personal or special use
  • noun a reservation where animals are protected
  • verb maintain in safety from injury, harm, or danger
  • verb keep undisturbed for personal or private use for hunting, shooting, or fishing
  • verb keep or maintain in unaltered condition; cause to remain or last
  • verb prevent (food) from rotting
  • noun a domain that seems to be specially reserved for someone
  • verb keep in safety and protect from harm, decay, loss, or destruction
  • noun fruit preserved by cooking with sugar


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English preserven, from Old French preserver, from Medieval Latin praeservāre, from Late Latin, to observe beforehand : Latin prae-, pre- + Latin servāre, to guard, preserve; see ser- in Indo-European roots.]


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