—v.t. 1. to keep alive or in existence; make lasting: to preserve our liberties as free citizens. 2. to keep safe from harm or injury; protect or spare.
3. to keep up; maintain: to preserve historical monuments. 4. to keep possession of; retain: to preserve one's composure. 5. to prepare (food or any perishable substance) so as to resist decomposition or fermentation.
6. to prepare (fruit, vegetables, etc.) by cooking with sugar, pickling, canning, or the like.
7. to maintain and reserve (game, fish, etc.) for continued survival or for private use, as in hunting or fishing.
—v.i. 1. to preserve fruit, vegetables, etc.; make preserves.
2. to maintain a preserve for game or fish, esp. for sport.
—n. 1. something that preserves.
2. that which is preserved.
3. Usually, preserves. fruit, vegetables, etc., prepared by cooking with sugar.
4. a place set apart for protection and propagation of game or fish, esp. for sport.