General English


  • verb to keep and not waste something
  • verb to look after and keep something in the same state


  • Fruits preserved in sugar, usually as a jellied mixture which may or may not contain distinct pieces of fruit. The jelling properties come from pectin, the vegetable equivalent of gelatine. Jam and marmalade are examples.


  • noun a food consisting of fruit in a thick sugar syrup, like jam but less firmly set and usually containing larger pieces of fruit

Origin & History of “conserve”

Latin servāre meant ‘keep, preserve’ (it was not related to servus ‘slave’, source of English serve and servant). among the compounds formed from it were praeservāre ‘guard in advance’ and, using the intensive prefix com-, conservāre. this passed into English via Old French conserver. Amongst its derivatives are conservation (14th c.), conservative (14th c.) (first used in the modern political sense by J Wilson Croker in 1830), and conservatory (16th c.) (whose French original, conservatoire, was reborrowed in the 18th century in the sense ‘musical academy’).