Definition of preservative in English:


Line breaks: pre¦ser¦va|tive
Pronunciation: /prɪˈzəːvətɪv


  • A substance used to preserve foodstuffs, wood, or other materials against decay: salt has been used for centuries as a preservative the jams contain no artificial colours or preservatives
    More example sentences
    • The scheme can only accept household paint and not car paint, varnish, wood preservatives or other chemicals.
    • That's it; there are no preservatives, and the garlic is packed in ordinary jars.
    • Food additives, such as preservatives and colourants, can also cause skin rashes and wheezing.


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  • Acting to preserve something: the preservative effects of freezing
    More example sentences
    • Doesn't their shape have a preservative effect?
    • The Jews would have been familiar with the preservative effects of salt.
    • While I'm a relative fan of meat, sausages tend to be stacked with salt, and also may contain preservative chemicals which have been linked with an increased risk of cancer.


late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin praeservativus, from late Latin praeservat- 'kept', from the verb praeservare (see preserve).

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