WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
pre•serve /prɪˈzɝv/USA pronunciation v., -served, -serv•ing,n. 

v. [+ object]
  • to keep (something) alive or in existence;
    make (something) lasting;
    protect:to preserve our liberties.
  • to keep up; maintain;
    take action to prevent decay:to preserve historical monuments.
  • to keep possession of;
    retain:He managed to preserve his composure during the debates.
  • to prepare (food) so as to prevent or slow down its decay:preserving meat.
  • to prepare (fruit, etc.) by cooking with sugar, etc.
  • to maintain and protect (game, etc.) for continued survival or for private use, as in hunting or fishing.

  • n. [countable]
  • something that preserves.
  • that which is preserved.
  • FoodUsually,preserves. [plural] fruit prepared by cooking with sugar.
  • a place set apart for protection of game or fish, esp. for sport:a forest preserve.
  • something looked on as belonging to a particular person or group of people only:She was running for the Senate to prove that politics was no longer just a male preserve.
  • pre•serv•er, n. [countable]See -serv-2.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    preserve /prɪˈzɜːv/ vb (mainly tr)
    1. to keep safe from danger or harm; protect
    2. to protect from decay or dissolution; maintain: to preserve old buildings
    3. to maintain possession of; keep up: to preserve a façade of indifference
    4. to prevent from decomposition or chemical change
    5. to prepare (food), as by freezing, drying, or salting, so that it will resist decomposition
    6. to make preserves of (fruit, etc)
    7. to rear and protect (game) in restricted places for hunting or fishing
    8. (intransitive) to maintain protection and favourable conditions for game in preserves
    1. something that preserves or is preserved
    2. a special area or domain: archaeology is the preserve of specialists
    3. (usually plural) fruit, etc, prepared by cooking with sugar
    4. areas where game is reared for private hunting or fishing
    Etymology: 14th Century: via Old French, from Late Latin praeservāre literally: to keep safe in advance, from Latin prae- before + servāre to keep safe

    preˈservable adj preservation /ˌprɛzəˈveɪʃən/ n preˈserver n

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