Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English preserven, from Old French preserver, from Medieval Latin prēservāre (keep, preserve),[1] from Late Latin praeservāre (guard beforehand), from prae (before, adverb) +‎ servāre (maintain, keep).



preserve (countable and uncountable, plural preserves)

  1. A sweet spread made of any of a variety of fruits.
  2. A reservation, a nature preserve.
    • 1881, Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque:
      Suppose Shakespeare had been knocked on the head some dark night in Sir Thomas Lucy's preserves, the world would have wagged on better or worse, the pitcher gone to the well, the scythe to the corn, and the student to his book; and no one been any the wiser of the loss.
  3. An activity with restricted access.
    • 1989, H. T. Willetts (translator), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (author), August 1914, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, →ISBN, page 86:
      No one can argue with that—neither the Army Commander nor Zhilinsky nor even the Grand Duke. That is the Emperor’s preserve. The Emperor says France must be saved. We can only do his bidding.
    • 2013 June 22, “T time”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 68:
      The ability to shift profits to low-tax countries by locating intellectual property in them, which is then licensed to related businesses in high-tax countries, is often assumed to be the preserve of high-tech companies.

Usage notesEdit

More often used in the plural, as strawberry preserves, but the form without the -s can also be used as the plural form, or to refer to a single type.



See alsoEdit


preserve (third-person singular simple present preserves, present participle preserving, simple past and past participle preserved)

  1. To protect; to keep from harm or injury.
    Every people have the right to preserve its identity and culture.
  2. To save from decay by the use of some preservative substance, such as sugar or salt; to season and prepare (fruits, meat, etc.) for storage.
    to preserve peaches or grapes
  3. To maintain throughout; to keep intact.
    to preserve appearances; to preserve silence



  1. ^ prēserven, v..”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2018, retrieved 26 February 2020.





  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of preservar
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of preservar
  3. first-person singular imperative of preservar
  4. third-person singular imperative of preservar




  1. inflection of preservar:
    1. first-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular present subjunctive
    3. third-person singular imperative