Definition of conserve in US English:



[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’
    • ‘They are also cultural and political catalysts that protect and conserve heritage and history of the land and people for posterity.’
    • ‘The findings give new urgency to protect and conserve coral reefs, which have come under increasing threats from the likes of dynamite fishing, pollution and climate change.’
    • ‘As a result, their main impulse is to conserve wilderness from destruction by humans.’
    • ‘Our psychophysical health is strictly dependent on the environment, hence the importance to protect and conserve it.’
    • ‘The Estate does a superb job of protecting and conserving great amounts of beautiful countryside round here.’
    • ‘Most of the Northern Iberian breeds are in high risk of extinction and are conserved in environmentally protected rural areas of Spain and Portugal.’
    • ‘The more we try to protect and conserve the countryside, the more we risk turning it into a miniature Brigadoon - a place of mist and mountains that exists in our imagination rather than for real.’
    • ‘They are precious objects which need to be properly conserved, protected and displayed.’
    • ‘The organization has argued in the past, and again this year, that all boats, including kayaks, must be banned from the river to protect and conserve fish and their habitat.’
    • ‘But the society needs help to protect and conserve them along with numerous mammals that visit the area.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nowhere in the Charter is there any explicit reference to the aim of protecting, preserving or conserving the natural environment or promoting sustainable development.’
    • ‘One possibility is private contracting to bundle together several programs aimed at restoring or conserving environmental amenities.’
    • ‘The fisheries board is tasked with protecting and conserving sea angling and inland fisheries in the Mid West area.’
    • ‘They are part of New Zealand's heritage and need to be conserved and protected for all new Zealanders to enjoy.’
    • ‘Farmers and other landowners can help to protect and conserve wildlife.’
    • ‘Delegates from 90 countries will discuss ways to conserve habitats, protect the migratory routes birds take and the use of satellite technology to monitor stocks.’
    • ‘This museum is helping to conserve the cultural memory and disappearing traditions.’
    • ‘The Centre, in association with city schools, is soon to come out with a detailed programme for making the young generation aware of the need for conserving the cultural heritage of the land.’
    • ‘This Project endeavours to make children more aware of their immediate environment, and the steps to be taken to protect and conserve it.’
    protect, keep safe, shield, cover, screen, shade, keep from harm, afford protection to, provide protection for, save, safeguard, wrap, cover for, preserve, defend, cushion, secure, guard, hedge
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    1. 1.1 Prevent the wasteful or harmful overuse of (a resource)
      ‘industry should conserve more water’
      • ‘The DoH said doctors, pharmacists and other health workers were being asked to take every possible step to conserve stocks for patients with the greatest need.’
      • ‘If a factory pollutes an adjoining river, then its owner will have a greater incentive to conserve resources if he has to compensate someone with a property claim to that stretch of river.’
      • ‘They'll be conserving their resources for the last weeks, too, once grand final fever is out of the way and there are fewer distractions.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘In addition there should be continued funding for farmers to manage the countryside both to retain the character of the landscape and conserve natural resources such as soil and water.’
      • ‘By reusing this structure, the school not only conserved resources but also helped to connect itself to the history of the community while preserving it.’
      • ‘They try to keep still, to conserve their resources of blubber and mother's milk.’
      • ‘Civic sense, he says, will have to be built from the grassroots in order to conserve water resources and keep them clean as well.’
      • ‘Despite an acute water scarcity in many parts of India, the Government has yet to legislate effectively to conserve groundwater resources.’
      • ‘The proposed bill to conserve salmon stocks, however, has met no such resistance but it could, in effect, stop fishing altogether for a large part of the Scottish angling public.’
      • ‘Financial transactions can be delayed so conserve your resources for now.’
      • ‘At the same time it will conserve natural resources.’
      • ‘‘The government also needs to focus on types of housing which conserve resources, particularly water,’ he said.’
      • ‘‘We won't be having driven shooting of grouse this year - we want to conserve our stock,’ he says.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘New licensing fees based on boat lengths were also implemented, which would presumably conserve stocks by discouraging licence holders from buying bigger vessels.’
      • ‘Health chiefs are looking more and more at measures to conserve blood stocks due to concerns over dwindling numbers of blood donors as well as the risks of infection from blood products.’
      • ‘The Army says it is consolidating the cases stemming from the abuse scandal to conserve resources.’
      • ‘In fact, sustainable utilisation can be a powerful tool in motivating communities to conserve a resource.’
      • ‘They are really fishermen's ministers and their job is not to conserve the stock but to ensure that their national fishermen get the maximum catch with the minimum of regulation.’
      preserve, protect, maintain, save, safeguard, keep, take care of, care for, look after, sustain, keep intact, prolong, perpetuate
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    2. 1.2Physics Maintain (a quantity such as energy or mass) at a constant overall total.
      • ‘Any isolated system will conserve total momentum.’
      • ‘Like matter, energy is conserved in all chemical reactions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Momentum is conserved only for a closed system.’
    3. 1.3usually be conservedBiochemistry Retain (a particular amino acid, nucleotide, or sequence of these) unchanged in different protein or DNA molecules.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This happens in the case that the candidate sequence is identical to the most conserved nucleotide at every position of the consensus matrix.’
      • ‘Most small RNAs are ubiquitous and have conserved nucleotide sequences, at least, among mammals.’
      • ‘In general, histone protein sequences are highly conserved within and between species.’
    4. 1.4 Preserve (food, typically fruit) with sugar.
      • ‘They were not interested in picking and conserving strawberries, but they often bought frozen strawberries.’
      • ‘Conserving berries and fruits for winter also aimed at getting continuous vitamin supply.’
      • ‘They are often conserved and preserved in jams and syrups.’
      • ‘It is adapted from a very old recipe for conserving cherries.’


  • A sweet food made by preserving fruit with sugar; jam.

    • ‘This version uses brown bread rather than white and between the buttery sandwiches is heaped chunky hot ginger jam, sometimes sold as ginger marmalade, but usually as ginger conserve.’
    • ‘Most of these are ubiquitous but some, like artichokes and asparagus, are also highly commercialized, especially in conserve.’
    • ‘This conserve is also good served with game but, as it is syrupy, I add it to the gravy or roasting juices, or I stir it into stews, to get a burst of tart fruit as well as the sweetness.’
    • ‘During the 19th cent. increasing supplies of cheap imported sugar enabled preserves and conserves to move from the pantries of the well-off to a much wider public.’
    • ‘She won a hamper including organic porridge, Cornish strawberry conserve and Gloucester Old Spot Bacon.’
    • ‘Combine the mayonnaise, yoghurt and apricot conserve or chutney.’
    • ‘Would you prefer ‘To make conserve of roses, and any other flowers’ or ‘To make a powder for the stone and stranguillian?’’
    • ‘‘I hope you don't mind,’ she says, splitting a scone and proceeding to load it with cream and glittering strawberry conserve.’
    • ‘Today began well with Greek yoghurt and strawberry conserve on almond muesli and became even more lovely as the day went on.’
    • ‘I've never been so patronised as I was last weekend when I decided to bypass the jam judges at the Cortachy Highland Games - who for years now have ignored my valiant efforts at prize-winning conserves - and make fruit gingerbread instead.’
    • ‘Good though home-made breakfast conserves can be I still think this is the time to think about making a proper duck a l' orange.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I buttered it and spread a liberal portion of raspberry conserve to compensate for the charcoal-y bits.’
    • ‘The spicy fruit conserve known as mostarda (most emphatically not mustard) is eaten with meat and game.’
    • ‘Jams made from a mixture of fruits are usually called conserves, especially when they include citrus fruits, nuts, raisins, or coconut.’
    • ‘Imagine a snow-white bowl of yoghurt topped with this glistening, exotic conserve.’
    jam, preserve, jelly, spread, marmalade, confiture
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Late Middle English: from Old French conserver (verb), conserve (noun), from Latin conservare ‘to preserve’, from con- ‘together’ + servare ‘to keep’.