Definition of conserve in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈsərv/
[with object]
1Protect (something, especially an environmentally or culturally important place or thing) from harm or destruction: the funds raised will help conserve endangered meadowlands
More example sentences
  • Our psychophysical health is strictly dependent on the environment, hence the importance to protect and conserve it.
  • He explained that conservation farming was what the farmers needed because that way they would learn the importance of conserving the environment and concentrate on improving the soils that had lost fertility.
  • Most of the Northern Iberian breeds are in high risk of extinction and are conserved in environmentally protected rural areas of Spain and Portugal.
1.1Prevent the wasteful or harmful overuse of (a resource): industry should conserve more water
More example sentences
  • ‘We just need to conserve the water resources, because if we don't, sooner or later we will run up against a capacity problem,’ he said.
  • ‘The government also needs to focus on types of housing which conserve resources, particularly water,’ he said.
  • They were taken around different micro watershed areas, sholas and grasslands and shown the steps being taken by the Forest Department to conserve water resources.
preserve, protect, save, safeguard, keep, look after;
sustain, prolong, perpetuate;
store, reserve, husband
1.2 Physics Maintain (a quantity such as energy or mass) at a constant overall total.
Example sentences
  • Any isolated system will conserve total momentum.
  • Similarly, the laws of physics do not depend on the time at which they are determined, a symmetry which has the consequence that energy is conserved.
  • Generally, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, so the sum of mass and energy is always conserved.
1.3 (usually be conserved) Biochemistry Retain (a particular amino acid, nucleotide, or sequence of these) unchanged in different protein or DNA molecules.
Example sentences
  • Boxed areas indicate regions of highly conserved nucleotide sequences between chromosomes I and VII.
  • For the left graph, the sequences only rigorously conserved the starter nucleotide compositions.
  • Most small RNAs are ubiquitous and have conserved nucleotide sequences, at least, among mammals.
1.4Preserve (food, typically fruit) with sugar.
Example sentences
  • They are often conserved and preserved in jams and syrups.
  • They were not interested in picking and conserving strawberries, but they often bought frozen strawberries.
  • It is adapted from a very old recipe for conserving cherries.


Pronunciation: /ˈkänˌsərv/
Pronunciation: /kənˈsərv/
A sweet food made by preserving fruit with sugar; jam.
Example sentences
  • However, the preserve we now recognize as jam is a relatively modern descendant of all the rather solid fruit and sugar conserves, preserves, and marmalades of the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • The spicy fruit conserve known as mostarda (most emphatically not mustard) is eaten with meat and game.
  • Combine the mayonnaise, yoghurt and apricot conserve or chutney.
jam, preserve, jelly, marmalade


Late Middle English: from Old French conserver (verb), conserve (noun), from Latin conservare 'to preserve', from con- 'together' + servare 'to keep'.

  • This comes via French from Latin conservare ‘to preserve’, the elements of which are con- ‘together’ and servare ‘to keep’. Conservatory (mid 16th century) was originally ‘something that preserves’, with the sense glass house dating from the mid 17th century. Other words from servare are preserve (Late Middle English) from prae ‘in advance’ and servare; observe (Late Middle English) with ob ‘toward’ with the sense ‘pay attention to’; and reserve (Middle English) ‘keep back’.

Words that rhyme with conserve

curve, Deneuve, derv, hors d'oeuvre, nerve, observe, roman-fleuve, serve, subserve, swerve, verve

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·serve

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