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[kon-ser-vey-shuh n] /ˌkɒn sərˈveɪ ʃən/
the act of conserving; prevention of injury, decay, waste, or loss; preservation:
conservation of wildlife; conservation of human rights.
official supervision of rivers, forests, and other natural resources in order to preserve and protect them through prudent management.
a district, river, forest, etc., under such supervision.
the careful utilization of a natural resource in order to prevent depletion.
the restoration and preservation of works of art.
Origin of conservation
1350-1400; Middle English conservacioun < Latin conservātiōn- (stem of conservātiō), equivalent to conservāt(us) (past participle of conservāre to conserve; see -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
conservational, adjective
anticonservation, noun, adjective
nonconservation, noun
nonconservational, adjective
proconservation, adjective
self-conservation, noun
1. care, husbandry, protection. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for conservation
  • Water conservation is promoted through rainwater harvesting and xeriscaping.
  • And then there was the peace of mind, the quiet, and the conservation of water.
  • As means and instruments only, they are necessarily subordinate to the conservation of government itself.
  • It has facilities for conservation of old manuscripts, the rare books and special-collections library.
  • Anyone who takes global warming seriously agrees that conservation will be a big part of the solution.
  • Dioramas depicting wild animals in their natural settings promote wildlife appreciation and conservation.
  • In the coming decades, ocean research, education and conservation will become only more urgent.
  • We tend to see whales as symbols of conservation, and sometimes even symbols of conservation's excesses.
  • Lots of people practice energy conservation at home, only to find they can't do it so easily on the road.
  • Collaborate with a conservation agency or organization who actively brings local community and conservation needs together.
British Dictionary definitions for conservation


the act or an instance of conserving or keeping from change, loss, injury, etc
  1. protection, preservation, and careful management of natural resources and of the environment
  2. (as modifier): a conservation area
Derived Forms
conservational, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for conservation

late 14c., conservacioun, "preservation of one's health and soundness," from Latin conservationem (nominative conservatio) "a keeping, preserving, conserving," noun of action from past participle stem of conservare (see conserve). Meaning "preservation of existing conditions" in any sense is from mid-15c. Since late 15c., in reference to English municipal authorities who had charge of rivers, sewers, forests, fisheries, etc. Specifically of the environment from 1922.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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conservation in Science
The protection, preservation, management, or restoration of natural environments and the ecological communities that inhabit them. Conservation is generally held to include the management of human use of natural resources for current public benefit and sustainable social and economic utilization.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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