English

Definition of preserve verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    preserve

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//prɪˈzɜːv//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈzɜːrv//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they preserve
    BrE BrE//prɪˈzɜːv//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈzɜːrv//
     
    he / she / it preserves
    BrE BrE//prɪˈzɜːvz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈzɜːrvz//
     
    past simple preserved
    BrE BrE//prɪˈzɜːvd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈzɜːrvd//
     
    past participle preserved
    BrE BrE//prɪˈzɜːvd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈzɜːrvd//
     
    -ing form preserving
    BrE BrE//prɪˈzɜːvɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈzɜːrvɪŋ//
     
    Describing architecture, Historic buildings, Conservation
     
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  1. 1  preserve 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 humour under very trying circumstances.
  2. 2  [often passive] to keep something in its original state in good condition preserve something/somebody a perfectly preserved 14th century house (humorous) Is he really 60? He's remarkably well preserved. preserve something + adj. This vase has been preserved intact. See related entries: Describing architecture, Historic buildings
  3. 3  preserve 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.
  4. 4  preserve somebody/something (from something) to keep somebody/something alive, or safe from harm or danger synonym save The society was set up to preserve endangered species from extinction. See related entries: Conservation
  5. compare conserve
    Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘keep safe from harm’): from Old French preserver, from late Latin praeservare, from prae- ‘before, in advance’ + servare ‘to keep’.Extra examples She carefully preserved all his letters. The Act contained provisions designed to preserve the status quo. The bones had all been preserved intact. The collection has been sold to the British Museum where it will be preserved for the nation. The iron coins are poorly preserved and have rusted. The prison is preserved as a tourist attraction. The style of the original film is preserved perfectly. They were thrilled to discover a beautifully preserved specimen of Roman pottery. We need to take action to help preserve fish stocks. We were anxious to preserve the original character of the house. You need to say why the building is worth preserving. an attempt to preserve the corpse from decomposition campaigners fighting to preserve a historic building taking action to help preserve fish stocks Is he really 60? He’s remarkably well preserved. She wanted to preserve him from harassment. She was determined to preserve her independence and way of life. The National Trust preserves the house and its grounds. Three miles away is a perfectly preserved stretch of Roman road. To preserve life should always be the goal.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: preserve

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