- 1preserve something to keep a particular quality, feature, etc.; to make sure that something is kept He was anxious to preserve his reputation. Efforts to preserve the peace have failed. She managed to preserve her sense of humor under very trying circumstances.
- 2 [often passive] to keep something in its original state in good condition preserve something/somebody a perfectly preserved 17th-century house (humorous) Is he really 60? He's remarkably well preserved. preserve something + adj. This vase has been preserved intact.
- 3preserve something to prevent something, especially food, from decaying by treating it in a particular way olives preserved in brine Wax polish preserves wood and leather.
- 4preserve somebody/something (from something) to keep someone or something alive, or safe from harm or danger synonym save The society was set up to preserve endangered species from extinction. compare conserve
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NAmE//prɪˈzərv//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they preserve
he / she / it preserves
past simple preserved
-ing form preserving