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.


Back to top  
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).

Definition of preservative in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day impudicity
Pronunciation: ˌɪmpjʊˈdɪsɪti
lack of modesty