Definition of reservation in US English:



  • 1The action of reserving something.

    ‘the reservation of positions for non-Americans’
    • ‘The state government will implement the recommendations of the other backward classes commission regarding reservation in government jobs to ensure their uplift.’
    • ‘Has the 33 per cent reservation really helped women?’
    • ‘Restaurants don't require reservation (Shanghai is the exception).’
    • ‘But even in this system, if reservation had not been introduced at the outset and only thought of later, one is certain that there would have been resistance.’
    • ‘The Constitution does not provide for reservation to a religious group.’
    • ‘Strengthening its usual features, it contains details of passenger amenities, reservation and refund rules, and the list of tourist trains in a lucid and easy to understand manner.’
    • ‘1989 guaranteed one-third reservation for women- during the elections two years ago, the results were dismal.’
    • ‘But the need for demanding reservation in the private sector came as a result of large-scale privatisation of public sector units during their rule.’
    • ‘Moreover the standard of highly professional courses such as engineering and proposed medical course should not be compromised by giving reservation to single school students.’
    • ‘Women should also be given 20 per cent reservation in all government and non-governmental jobs to make them economically secure.’
    • ‘Secondly, the Constitution does not sanction religion-based reservation.’
    • ‘However, to maintain the intense cultural therapy which is so familiar at LeSport, dinner at Tao is by reservation only with six as the maximum number per party.’
    • ‘The women's reservation Bill is gathering dust.’
    • ‘Their other demands include rail and bus concessions, reservation in educational institutions for the children of painters etc.’
    • ‘Among the facets discussed are the imperatives and challenges facing rural women, the merits of reservation (for women) and the need for social action by women.’
    • ‘Basically, my question is, what were the sections that were engaged in relation to reservation?’
    • ‘I was recently invited to Gujrat in a function which followed our line and demanded reservation in government jobs, in proportion to our Brahmin populations.’
    • ‘But prejudices and biases are common as the community is being denied its right to political reservation according to its demographic strength.’
    1. 1.1 An arrangement whereby something, especially a seat or room, is booked or reserved for a particular person.
      ‘do you have a reservation?’
      • ‘It is possible to walk in without a reservation and be seated immediately.’
      • ‘Seat reservations can be made 30 days in advance of travel for certain destinations, and Reserve members must provide written authorization for travel.’
      • ‘A room reservation form should be sent directly to the hotel.’
      • ‘Usually, 6pm to 7pm is the rush hour for the restaurant, and it's difficult to find a seat without a reservation.’
      • ‘We had no reservations and were seated in ten minutes, but this isn't always the case.’
      • ‘Through well placed remuneration, I arranged a dinner reservation and accommodations as near to them as security allowed.’
      • ‘She and the girls walked towards the counter where a barmaid stood to take orders or to place reservations for rooms.’
      • ‘And why does the airline insist on its policy of no seat reservations?’
      • ‘Seat reservations should be made and anyone already holding a ticket dated for travel on one of the strike days will be able to get a full refund if they decide not to travel but they must apply in advance.’
      • ‘In order to have a time when people don't stand on trains we have to have compulsory seat reservations.’
      • ‘Each time you make a reservation, the room status is updated and the customer details are added to your hotel database.’
      • ‘Most hotels won't charge your card if you cancel a room reservation before 6: 00 p.m.’
      • ‘It doesn't cover supplements for high-speed trains or seat reservations.’
      • ‘Consider confirming last-minute room reservations directly with the hotel, to make sure your reservation is in the system.’
      • ‘It has become easy to obtain information about our bank and insurance accounts, train and airline reservations through computerized systems.’
      • ‘My wife received a phone call in mid-January from a hotel employee advising her that both room reservations had been cancelled.’
      • ‘What's worse is that there are people with reservations, but no seat allocations, the result of overbooking.’
      • ‘The tiny yet popular restaurant has few guests on weekends because people living in the area tend to go downtown, but on workdays it is hard to get a seat without a reservation.’
      • ‘I researched times and prices on the Internet, made a reservation and selected a seat online, even printed my boarding pass at home.’
      • ‘The current price on a particular flight may also rise or fall as other people book seats or cancel reservations.’
      advance booking, booking, prior arrangement
      booking, ordering, arrangement, prearrangement, securing
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (in the Roman Catholic Church) the practice of retaining a portion of the consecrated elements after mass for communion of the sick or as a focus for devotion.
      • ‘She argues that Cranmer and the later revisers of the Book of Common Prayer did not abolish reservation for communion with the sick.’
      • ‘It would seem, therefore that, in the absence at least of any objection from his Ordinary, a Parish Priest might content himself with the fact that the whole House of Bishops has recognized reservation for the sick as permissible under the laws of this Church.’
      • ‘The bishop managed to secure small majorities on the propositions that he should allow reservation for the sick.’
  • 2A qualification to an expression of agreement or approval; a doubt.

    ‘some generals voiced reservations about making air strikes’
    • ‘At last week's meeting of the City Council, agreement was reached to immediately add 297 of them to the list, despite some councillors voicing reservations.’
    • ‘The whole jury was impressed by the urban and environmental aspects of the building, but some members had reservations about its expression.’
    • ‘A number of immigrant workers, however, have voiced reservations for another reason.’
    • ‘He later said he regretted voicing his reservations.’
    • ‘It may create unnecessary doubts and reservations in the minds of others.’
    • ‘And nearly one in five scientists felt pressure to approve or recommend approval, despite reservations about the safety or quality of a drug.’
    • ‘On my side particularly it seems that my decision is inevitably going to be based upon faith, and hence inevitably bound up with reservations and doubt.’
    • ‘The only reservation about this plan has to be the notorious difficulty in hiring sufficient qualified staff to operate the scanners.’
    • ‘They also voice their reservations about the ability of the business academy, which will only fully open in September, to run a primary school, pointing out that it has yet to prove itself at secondary level.’
    • ‘But people were invited to express their reservations, and they came up with some very reasonable doubts.’
    • ‘But a survey of secondary school English teachers reveals that many have deep reservations about plans to extend the literacy strategy into the secondary sector.’
    • ‘But here are some medically qualified folk expressing similar reservations.’
    • ‘Parents had the same doubts and reservations that my colleagues and I had.’
    • ‘But although people living nearby hailed the huge investment as long overdue, they have deep reservations about the plans for the new school to be built a few hundred metres from the old one.’
    • ‘I also dwelt, perhaps overheavily, on certain doubts and reservations, of which even his most devoted admirers must take stock.’
    • ‘The objectors also expressed reservations about the ‘suburbia’ design of the scheme and claimed it would detract from the area.’
    • ‘He and his comrades thus ‘swallowed our doubts and reservations and defended it.’’
    • ‘The performances also have the depth of emotion that sweeps you into the lives of the characters without doubts or reservations.’
    • ‘But a number of private sector unions have voiced reservations about this offer.’
    • ‘Similar reservations will no doubt surface in the coming months, as countries endeavor to absolve their own aggressive actions from the court's jurisdiction.’
    doubt, qualm, scruple
    View synonyms
  • 3An area of land set aside for occupation by North American Indians or Australian Aborigines.

    • ‘The larger the number of reservations in a reservation area the more likely it is that there is a general awareness of Native American culture and active cultural institutions.’
    • ‘Normally, outsiders would not be allowed to occupy traditional land on an Indian reservation.’
    • ‘A Native American Indian reservation straddles the line dividing Mexico and the United States.’
    • ‘Only about 20 percent of American Indians and Alaskan Natives still live on reservations or trust lands.’
    • ‘As a young man, he farmed land originally within the reservation boundaries.’
    • ‘On the southern plains, a war in 1868-69 forced Cheyennes, Kiowas, and Comanches to new reservations.’
    • ‘This mountainous and remote land is home to 18 native American reservations - each one a sovereign nation - with an aggregate population of 15,000.’
    • ‘In 1854, the ‘Great White Chief’ in Washington made an offer for a large area of Indian land and promised a reservation for the Indian people.’
    • ‘Fierce land disputes between their tribes far predate the 19 th-century creation of the Navajo and Hopi reservations, and continue to this day.’
    • ‘While most programs were located in urban areas, others were located in suburban neighborhoods or rural areas, with a few on Indian reservations.’
    • ‘The first reservation for Southern Paiutes, the Moapa Reservation, was finally created in 1872.’
    • ‘In the last year, the mobile lab was also driven to three of the four American Indian reservations in North Dakota.’
    • ‘It reversed the 1887 Act by consolidating Indian reservations through the public purchase of land for the Native American peoples.’
    • ‘Freed from prison in 1894, Geronimo accepted a Kiowa and Comanche offer to share their reservation in Indian Territory.’
    • ‘Native Americans tend to come from the reservations, rural areas that are isolated.’
    • ‘The 1906 Burke Act exacerbated land loss on the reservation by removing the twenty-five-year restriction on sales of Indian allotments.’
    • ‘This promised the Indians a permanent reservation of the forty million acres of land around the Black Hills and the right to hunt buffalo in unceded territory.’
    • ‘For the most part, African American activists in urban communities and American Indians on reservations have led the movement.’
    • ‘Much of the introductory chapter consists of broad generalizations about Indians, culture areas, reservations, and allotment.’
    • ‘The West had been settled with paved roads across the country, and the Indians were confined to reservations.’
    reserve, preserve, enclave, sanctuary, area, territory
    View synonyms
  • 4Law
    A right or interest retained in an estate being conveyed.

    • ‘Moreover, it can be said that an implied reservation derogates from the grant, for the grantor has apparently given the grantee an unencumbered estate and is then trying to burden it with an easement or profit.’
    • ‘This section starts with a description of the international law criteria for assessing the validity of reservations.’
    • ‘Not that there was in fact, as a matter of property law, a reservation, but that what had occurred was equivalent to that - that there was, in substance, not a sale and transfer of the sand.’
    • ‘Compliance with the reservation also constituted a covenant under the lease.’
  • 5(in the Roman Catholic Church) the action of a superior of reserving to himself the power of absolution.

    • ‘Jurisdiction and the reservation of absolution of particularly serious sins for pedagogical reasons are defended later.’
    1. 5.1 A right reserved to the Pope of nomination to a vacant benefice.
      • ‘Reservations, instead of being the exception, became very general, and, as a result, the eyes of all ambitious clerics were turned towards Rome from which they hoped to receive promotion, whether their immediate superiors deemed them worthy or unworthy.’
      • ‘The third ground of reservation is connected with the manner in which a benefice has become vacant.’
      • ‘From the eleventh century, extraordinary collations by the pope became more and more common, usually taking the form of mandata de providendo, literœ expectativœ, and reservations.’


Late Middle English (denoting the Pope's right of nomination to a benefice): from Old French, or from late Latin reservatio(n-), from reservare ‘keep back’ (see reserve).