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[ri-zurv] /rɪˈzɜrv/
verb (used with object), reserved, reserving.
to keep back or save for future use, disposal, treatment, etc.
to retain or secure by express stipulation.
to set apart for a particular use, purpose, service, etc.:
ground reserved for gardening.
to keep for oneself.
to retain (the original color) of a surface, as on a painted ceramic piece.
to save or set aside (a portion of the Eucharistic elements) to be administered, as to the sick, outside of the Mass or communion service.
  1. cash, or assets readily convertible into cash, held aside, as by a corporation, bank, state or national government, etc., to meet expected or unexpected demands.
  2. uninvested cash held to comply with legal requirements.
something kept or stored for use or need; stock:
a reserve of food.
a resource not normally called upon but available if needed.
a tract of public land set apart for a special purpose:
a forest reserve.
an act of reserving; reservation, exception, or qualification:
I will do what you ask, but with one reserve.
  1. a fraction of a military force held in readiness to sustain the attack or defense made by the rest of the force.
  2. the part of a country's fighting force not in active service.
  3. reserves, the enrolled but not regular components of the U.S. Army.
formality and self-restraint in manner and relationship; avoidance of familiarity or intimacy with others:
to conduct oneself with reserve.
reticence or silence.
kept in reserve; forming a reserve:
a reserve fund; a reserve supply.
of or relating to the animal awarded second place in livestock shows:
the reserve champion steer.
in reserve, put aside or withheld for a future need; reserved:
money in reserve.
without reserve,
  1. without restraint; frankly; freely.
  2. (of articles at auction) without limitation as to the terms of sale, especially with no stipulated minimum price.
Origin of reserve
1325-75; Middle English reserven (v.) < Middle French reserver < Latin reservāre to keep back, retain, equivalent to re- re- + servāre to save
Related forms
reservable, adjective
reserveless, adjective
nonreservable, adjective
nonreserve, noun, adjective
Can be confused
re-serve, reserve.
1. husband, hold, store. See keep. 8. supply. 14. taciturnity, constraint, coldness.
1. squander. 13, 14. warmth. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for without reserve
Historical Examples
  • As for purely domestic concerns, Geist was so excellent a manager that his master trusted him without reserve.

    Mr. Fortescue William Westall
  • The story was hard to tell, but she told it, without pause, without reserve.

  • One school reported that "four professors here have adopted them without reserve and made them the soul of their teaching."

    Major Prophets of To-Day Edwin E. Slosson
  • She was out of breath and Viznina admired her without reserve.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • So when Lulie asked his advice Galusha gave it, such as he happened to have in stock, whole-heartedly and without reserve.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • When they do not feel friendly they show that without reserve.

    Working With the Working Woman Cornelia Stratton Parker
  • When you say that Unum non est, you must mean that it does not partake of existence in any way — absolutely and without reserve.

  • It is for this reason I desire you to tell me without reserve the object of your visit.

    Major Frank A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint
  • I don't comprehend what he means, although he held this language to me very expressly and without reserve.

  • I will remain, if you will promise to speak openly and without reserve.

    Louise de la Valliere Alexandre Dumas, Pere
British Dictionary definitions for without reserve


verb (transitive)
to keep back or set aside, esp for future use or contingency; withhold
to keep for oneself; retain: I reserve the right to question these men later
to obtain or secure by advance arrangement: I have reserved two tickets for tonight's show
to delay delivery of (a judgment), esp in order to allow time for full consideration of the issues involved
  1. something kept back or set aside, esp for future use or contingency
  2. (as modifier): a reserve stock
the state or condition of being reserved: I have plenty in reserve
a tract of land set aside for the protection and conservation of wild animals, flowers, etc: a nature reserve
(Canadian) Also called reservation. an area of land set aside, esp (in the US and Canada) for American or Canadian Indian peoples
(Austral & NZ) an area of publicly owned land set aside for sport, recreation, etc
the act of reserving; reservation
a member of a team who only plays if a playing member drops out; a substitute
(often pl)
  1. a part of an army or formation not committed to immediate action in a military engagement
  2. that part of a nation's armed services not in active service
coolness or formality of manner; restraint, silence, or reticence
  1. a portion of capital not invested (a capital reserve) or a portion of profits not distributed (a revenue or general reserve) by a bank or business enterprise and held to meet legal requirements, future liabilities, or contingencies
  2. (often pl) liquid assets held by an organization, government, etc, to meet expenses and liabilities
without reserve, without reservations; fully; wholeheartedly
Derived Forms
reservable, adjective
reserver, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French reserver, from Latin reservāre to save up, from re- + servāre to keep
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 without reserve



mid-14c., from Old French reserver "set aside, withhold" (12c.) and directly from Latin reservare "keep back, save up; retain, preserve," from re- "back" (see re-) + servare "to keep, save, preserve, protect" (see observe). Meaning "to book" is from 1935. Related: Reserved; reserving.


"something stored up," 1610s, from reserve (v.) or from French réserve, a Middle French back-formation from reserver. Meaning "self-imposed restraint on freedom of words or actions; habit of keeping back the feelings" is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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without reserve in Medicine

reserve re·serve (rĭ-zûrv')
v. re·served, re·serv·ing, re·serves

  1. To keep back, as for future use or for a special purpose.

  2. To set or cause to be set apart for a particular person or use.

Something kept back or saved for future use or a special purpose. adj.
  1. Held back, set aside, or saved.

  2. Forming a reserve.

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