v. con·served, con·serv·ing, con·serves
a. To protect from loss or harm; preserve: calls to conserve our national heritage in the face of bewildering change.
b. To use carefully or sparingly, avoiding waste: kept the thermostat lower to conserve energy.
2. To keep (a quantity) constant through physical or chemical reactions or evolutionary changes.
3. To preserve (fruits) with sugar.
To economize: tried to conserve on fuel during the long winter.
A jam made of fruits stewed in sugar.
[Middle English conserven, from Old French conserver, from Latin cōnservāre : com-, intensive pref.; see COM- + servāre, to preserve; see ser-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.