Meaning of “preserve” in the English Dictionary

"preserve" in British English

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preserveverb [ T ]

uk /prɪˈzɜːv/ us /prɪˈzɝːv/

B2 to keep something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from decaying or being damaged or destroyed:

to preserve the environment
We want to preserve the character of the town while improving the facilities.
Putting varnish on wood is a way of preserving it.
I need to get out of the house from time to time just to preserve (= prevent me from losing) my sanity.

to treat food in a particular way so that it can be kept for a long time without going bad:

preserved fruit
oranges preserved in brandy

More examples

  • It's our duty to preserve the planet for future generations.
  • The Forestry Commission is responsible for preserving over 2 million acres of woodland.
  • The remains of the Roman fort are well preserved.
  • Every attempt is being made to ensure that these works of art are preserved for posterity.
  • He has a collection of prehistoric insects preserved in amber.

preservenoun

uk /prɪˈzɜːv/ us /prɪˈzɝːv/

(Definition of “preserve” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"preserve" in American English

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preserveverb [ T ]

us /prɪˈzɜrv/

preserve verb [ T ] (KEEP)

to keep something as it is, esp. in order to prevent it from decaying or to protect it from being damaged or destroyed:

The committee will suggest ways to preserve historically important buildings in the downtown area.

To preserve food is to treat it in a particular way so it can be kept for a long time without going bad:

My grandmother preserved cherries in syrup.

preservenoun

us /prɪˈzɜrv/

preserve noun (SEPARATE ACTIVITY)

[ C ] an activity that only one person or a particular type of person does or is responsible for:

The gardening is Jeanne’s special preserve.

preserve noun (SEPARATE PLACE)

[ C ] an area of land kept in its natural state, esp. for hunting and fishing or for raising animals and fish:

a wildlife preserve

preserve noun (KEPT FOOD)

(Definition of “preserve” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)