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[v. kuh n-surv; n. kon-surv, kuh n-surv] /v. kənˈsɜrv; n. ˈkɒn sɜrv, kənˈsɜrv/
verb (used with object), conserved, conserving.
to prevent injury, decay, waste, or loss of:
Conserve your strength for the race.
to use or manage (natural resources) wisely; preserve; save:
Conserve the woodlands.
Physics, Chemistry. to hold (a property) constant during an interaction or process:
the interaction conserved linear momentum.
to preserve (fruit) by cooking with sugar or syrup.
Often, conserves. a mixture of several fruits cooked to jamlike consistency with sugar and often garnished with nuts and raisins.
Origin of conserve
1325-75; (v.) Middle English < Latin conservāre to save, preserve, equivalent to con- con- + servāre to watch over, guard (akin to servus slave, servīre to serve); (noun) Middle English < Middle French conserve, noun derivative of conserver < Latin, as above
Related forms
conserver, noun
nonconserving, adjective, noun
self-conserving, adjective
unconserved, adjective
unconserving, adjective
well-conserved, adjective
2. husband, safeguard. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for conserve
  • Learn what you can do to conserve resources and protect the planet.
  • Learn about the important research being carried out to conserve and protect island habitats around the world.
  • Recycling used oil is becoming the preferred way of handling used oil to protect the environment and conserve natural resources.
  • There is one problem, though, with helping plants conserve water.
  • Campuses are closed and people are asked to conserve power.
  • Every effort you make to conserve energy adds up to saving money while protecting the environment.
  • We need to understand the different forest life cycles and work to conserve all forestland.
  • But pollution, overfishing and development are harming efforts to conserve habitat and wildlife.
  • To conserve scarce supplies, water managers will probably have to implement restrictions again.
  • Now the surge in the cost of oil is forcing companies to conserve.
British Dictionary definitions for conserve


verb (transitive) (kənˈsɜːv)
to keep or protect from harm, decay, loss, etc
to preserve (a foodstuff, esp fruit) with sugar
noun (ˈkɒnsɜːv; kənˈsɜːv)
a preparation of fruit in sugar, similar to jam but usually containing whole pieces of fruit
Derived Forms
conservable, adjective
conserver, noun
Word Origin
(vb) C14: from Latin conservāre to keep safe, from servāre to save, protect; (n) C14: from Medieval Latin conserva, from Latin conservāre
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 conserve

late 14c., from Old French conserver (9c.), from Latin conservare "to keep, preserve, keep intact, guard," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + servare "keep watch, maintain" (see observe). Related: Conserved; conserving. As a noun (often conserves) from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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