Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

preserve - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] preserve pronunciation in British English /prɪˈzɜː(r)v/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlepreserving
past tensepreserved
past participlepreserved
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to take care of a place or building in order to prevent it from being harmed or destroyed

    The society works to preserve the district’s historic buildings.

    beautifully/perfectly/carefully preserved:

    a beautifully preserved fresco

  2. 2
    to keep an idea, quality, or situation from changing or being lost

    It’s important that these traditions are preserved.

    Our goal is to preserve the dignity and independence of our patients.

    He’s managed to preserve his boyish good looks.



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play