To maintain in safety from injury, peril, or harm; protect. To keep in perfect or unaltered condition; maintain unchanged. To keep or maintain intact: tried to preserve family harmony. See Synonyms at defend. To prepare (food) for future use, as by canning or salting. To prevent (organic bodies) from decaying or spoiling. To keep or protect (game or fish) for one's private hunting or fishing. To treat fruit or other foods so as to prevent decay. To maintain a private area stocked with game or fish. Something that acts to preserve; a preservative. Fruit cooked with sugar to protect against decay or fermentation. Often used in the plural. An area maintained for the protection of wildlife or natural resources. Something considered as being the exclusive province of certain persons: Ancient Greek is the preserve of scholars.