Definition of preservative in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘Recently, they removed all artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.’
    • ‘Also, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.’
    • ‘Tea or supper will not be a supermarket ready-meal full of additives, preservatives and artificial flavourings.’
    • ‘And also, you can put in fuel preservatives as well that you can buy at a hardware store.’
    • ‘Then I became vegetarian, also cutting out all foods with chemicals and preservatives.’
    • ‘Also, do not use paints or stains that contain lead or toxic wood preservatives.’
    • ‘It's basically flavoured water with a few harmless preservatives, and compressed carbon dioxide.’
    • ‘You leave the theater feeling you got what you paid for: no additives, no preservatives, no junk.’
    • ‘Fresh and frozen chips are also free from the artificial preservatives and colourings found in many other fast foods.’
    • ‘That's it; there are no preservatives, and the garlic is packed in ordinary jars.’
    • ‘With the introduction of wood preservatives, a garden fence will last many years longer than before these poisonous chemicals were invented.’
    • ‘They are said to contain no additives, preservatives, sweeteners, or salt and are free of wheat, corn and soy.’
    • ‘The scheme can only accept household paint and not car paint, varnish, wood preservatives or other chemicals.’
    • ‘One reason could be down to the fact that additives, colourings and preservatives are more prevalent in our food than ever.’
    • ‘For horses, sugar levels are strictly controlled and the use of animal or fish derivatives are banned, as are vitamins, preservatives and colours.’
    • ‘Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives.’
    • ‘I believe that all the products contain preservatives, chemicals, food coloring and corn syrup.’
    • ‘Food additives, such as preservatives and colourants, can also cause skin rashes and wheezing.’
    • ‘Organic foods do not contain artificial ingredients or preservatives, and irradiation is prohibited.’
    • ‘The truth about tea is that it is a purely natural product without additional chemical coloring or preservatives.’
    added ingredient, addition, extra, add-on, supplement, accompaniment
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  • Acting to preserve something.

    ‘the preservative effects of freezing’
    • ‘Add any floral preservative you use, plus a few drops of bleach.’
    • ‘Other types are not recommended because they can rust and disintegrate, or react adversely with the natural preservative oils present in some wood.’
    • ‘Doesn't their shape have a preservative effect?’
    • ‘You wouldn't think spider webs could be part of the fossil record - and if it weren't for the preservative power of amber, they wouldn't be.’
    • ‘Frequent applications of preservative treatments will extend its life span.’
    • ‘All this was testimonial to the preservative powers of cold, clear water.’
    • ‘In both cases doctors only have about 30 minutes after the heart stops beating to safeguard organs, by pumping a preservative fluid into the body, before it starts to degenerate.’
    • ‘She will then be able to be seen properly by visitors to the Historic Dockyard, who at present must view her through glass screens and often through a preservative mist.’
    • ‘American shipwrights would come to understand that it could be soaked in brine and made workable, and it soon became apparent that salt water had a tremendous preservative effect on the wood.’
    • ‘Scientists were zapping cans of horse meat with high radiation, trying to establish the preservative value of food irradiation.’
    • ‘He treated the bodies with a preservative mixture of peanut oil and resin; and, although the remains still shriveled like raisins, they retained their human features.’
    • ‘Similarly, embalming, which replaces the blood with a preservative fluid, is ill-advised.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The education seminar comes following recent inspections at the markets whereby vendors were found to be using excessive amounts of preservative substances to keep their products looking fresh.’
    • ‘As I said, preservative processes are always partly constructive processes.’
    • ‘All wines have acidity for both its flavour and its preservative quality.’
    • ‘The Jews would have been familiar with the preservative effects of salt.’
    • ‘Yesterday I did suggest that we could look for the foods with the highest preservative content and just eat those.’
    protecting, safeguarding, shielding, defensive, safety, precautionary, preventive, preventative, covering
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Late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin praeservativus, from late Latin praeservat- ‘kept’, from the verb praeservare (see preserve).