preservative

1. noun
(countable) any agent, natural or artificial that acts to preserve, especially when added to food

Salt, sugar, and acid all act as preservatives when making pickles.

tending to preserve

The curators took preservative actions to maintain the ancient collection.


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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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