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[verb kuh n-surv; noun kon-surv, kuh n-surv] /verb kənˈsɜrv; noun 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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was his purpose to conserve it with the greatest possible care.

    West Wind Drift George Barr McCutcheon
  • He could preach, but could not conserve the results of his preaching.

    Peter the Hermit Daniel A. Goodsell
  • When he speaks his voice is produced with a careful effort to conserve energy.

    More Portmanteau Plays Stuart Walker
  • In the evening you are tired and you should conserve your strength.

    Evening Round Up William Crosbie Hunter
  • Of late years we have been working earnestly to conserve our retired farmers.

    Homeburg Memories George Helgesen Fitch
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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