- 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 [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 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 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 compare conserve Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘keep safe from harm’): from Old French preserver, from late Latin praeservare, from prae-
verbjump to other results
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