9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pri-zur-vuh-tiv] /prɪˈzɜr və tɪv/
something that preserves or tends to preserve.
a chemical substance used to preserve foods or other organic materials from decomposition or fermentation.
tending to preserve.
Origin of preservative
1350-1400; Middle English (adj. and noun) < Middle French preservatif (adj.) < Medieval Latin praeservātīvus. See preserve, -ative
Related forms
nonpreservative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for preservative
  • Many of the samples fixed in celloidin also float in a liquid preservative that is probably formaldehyde or alcohol.
  • Salt not only enhances taste but also acts as a preservative and adds texture.
  • Hops was added as a preservative when it was transported away from the brewing origin.
  • Let deck dry for two days before applying a clear wood preservative with mildewcides and ultraviolet-light inhibitors.
  • And sulfur has been used as a wine preservative since antiquity.
  • For the first, the best preservative to keep the mind in health is the faithful admonition of a friend.
  • Here it acts as a preservative and stabilizer, preventing outside impurities from spoiling the contents.
  • Arsenic, a preservative, killed bacteria that would cause decay.
  • Sea salt is a mineral that has been used as a flavoring and preservative since ancient times.
  • The volcano's intense heat proved to be a great preservative.
British Dictionary definitions for preservative


something that preserves or tends to preserve, esp a chemical added to foods to inhibit decomposition
tending or intended to preserve
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 preservative

late 14c., from Old French preservatif and directly from Medieval Latin praeservativus, from stem of praeservare (see preserve (v.)). The noun is from early 15c., "a preservative medication;" sense of "chemical added to foods to keep them from rotting" is from 1875.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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preservative in Medicine

preservative pre·ser·va·tive (prĭ-zûr'və-tĭv)
A substance added to food products or to organic solutions to prevent decomposition due to chemical change or bacterial action.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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