v. pre·served, pre·serv·ing, pre·serves
1. To keep from injury, peril, or harm; protect. See Synonyms at defend.
2. To keep in perfect or unaltered condition; maintain unchanged: fossils preserved in sediments; a film preserved in the archives.
3. To keep or maintain intact: tried to preserve family harmony.
4. To prepare (food) for storage or future use, as by canning or salting.
5. To prevent (organic bodies) from decaying or spoiling: preserved the specimen in a chemical solution.
a. To protect (wildlife or natural resources) in a designated area, often for regulated hunting or fishing.
b. To maintain (an area) for the protection of wildlife or natural resources.
1. To treat fruit or other foods so as to prevent decay.
2. To maintain an area for the protection of wildlife or natural resources.
1. Something that acts to preserve; a preservative.
2. often preserves Fruit cooked with sugar to protect against decay or fermentation.
3. An area maintained for the protection of wildlife or natural resources.
4. Something considered as being the exclusive province of certain persons: Ancient Greek is the preserve of scholars.
[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-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
pres′er·vation (prĕz′ər-vāshən) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus