I. adjective Date: 14th century having the power of preserving II. noun Date: 15th century something that preserves or has the power of preserving; specifically an additive used to protect against decay, discoloration, or spoilage

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • preservative — (adj.) late 14c., from M.Fr. preservatif, from M.L. praeservativus, from praeservare (see PRESERVE (Cf. preserve) (v.)). The noun is from early 15c., a preservative medication. Sense of chemical added to foods to keep them from rotting is from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Preservative — Pre*serv a*tive, a. [Cf. F. pr[ e]servatif.] Having the power or quality of preserving; tending to preserve, or to keep from injury, decay, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Preservative — Pre*serv a*tive, n. That which preserves, or has the power of preserving; a presevative agent. [1913 Webster] To wear tablets as preservatives against the plague. Bacon. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • preservative — index preventive, prophylactic, protective Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • preservative — ► NOUN ▪ a substance used to preserve foodstuffs or other materials against decay. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ acting to preserve something …   English terms dictionary

  • preservative — [prē zʉrv′ə tiv, prizʉrv′ə tiv] adj. [ME preseruatyve < MFr preservatif < ML praeservativus] having the quality of preserving n. anything that preserves; esp., a substance added to a food to keep it from spoiling …   English World dictionary

  • Preservative — A preservative is a natural or synthetic chemical that is added to products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, paints, biological samples, wood, etc. to prevent decomposition by microbial growth or by undesirable chemical changes.Preservatives in… …   Wikipedia

  • preservative — UK [prɪˈzɜː(r)vətɪv] / US [prɪˈzɜrvətɪv] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms preservative : singular preservative plural preservatives chemistry a chemical substance used for preventing food or wood from decaying wood preservative This drink… …   English dictionary

  • preservative — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ food, wood ▪ artificial, chemical, synthetic ▪ Our products contain no artificial preservatives. VERB + PRESERVATIVE …   Collocations dictionary

  • preservative — n. a food preservative * * * [prɪ zɜːvətɪv] a food preservative …   Combinatory dictionary

  • preservative — [[t]prɪzɜ͟ː(r)vətɪv[/t]] preservatives N MASS A preservative is a chemical that prevents things from decaying. Some preservatives are added to food, and others are used to treat wood or metal. Nitrates are used as preservatives in food… …   English dictionary

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