Definition of RESERVE

RESERVE Noun and Verb

Reserve can function as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it refers to something kept back or saved for future use or a special purpose. As a verb, it means to set aside or keep something for a particular person, purpose, or time.

RESERVE as a noun

As a noun, reserve denotes a supply of a commodity or resource that is stored for future use. It can also refer to a protected area for wildlife or a trait of self-restraint or caution in behavior. For instance, a country might have oil reserves, a bank might hold financial reserves, and a person might show emotional reserve in social situations.

RESERVE as a verb

As a verb, reserve describes the action of setting aside or keeping something for a particular person or purpose. This includes booking a table at a restaurant, reserving a hotel room, or allocating resources for a future project. It implies a deliberate action to ensure availability when needed.

Financial and Resource Management: In financial contexts, reserve refers to funds set aside for emergencies, future investments, or specific liabilities. Companies maintain reserves to ensure stability and solvency, while governments hold currency reserves to support economic stability. Resource management also involves reserving natural resources to ensure sustainable use and availability.

Protected Areas: Reserves as protected areas are designated for the conservation of wildlife, natural habitats, and biodiversity. National parks, wildlife reserves, and marine reserves play crucial roles in preserving ecosystems and providing safe habitats for endangered species. These areas are often managed to balance conservation efforts with public access and education.

Self-restraint and Caution: On a personal level, reserve can refer to a quality of self-restraint or caution in behavior and communication. People who exhibit reserve may be seen as more thoughtful or composed, often choosing their words and actions carefully. This trait can be valuable in professional settings where diplomacy and discretion are important.

Military and Emergency Services: In military terms, reserve refers to personnel or units not in active service but available for mobilization in times of need. These reserves provide additional support and flexibility during emergencies or conflicts. Similarly, emergency services maintain reserves of equipment and personnel to respond to crises.

In conclusion, reserve can be both a noun and a verb, referring to the act of setting something aside for future use or a special purpose, and the state of having something kept back or saved. Whether in financial management, conservation, personal behavior, or emergency preparedness, reserves play a vital role in ensuring preparedness, stability, and sustainability across various domains.

Examples of RESERVE in a sentence

RESERVE as a noun in a sentence

  • The national park is home to a vast wildlife reserve.
  • The army called upon its reserve forces to assist in the emergency.
  • She showed great reserve in expressing her emotions in public.
  • The restaurant requires reserve bookings for large parties.
  • The country has significant oil reserves that contribute to its economy.
  • He displayed a remarkable reserve of strength during the marathon.
  • The bank maintains a reserve of cash to meet withdrawal demands.
  • The team’s captain was kept on the reserve bench due to injury.

RESERVE as a verb in a sentence

  • They decided to reserve a table at the restaurant for their anniversary dinner.
  • The hotel allows guests to reserve rooms online or by phone.
  • She reserved a seat on the next available flight out of town.
  • The company reserved funds for future expansion projects.
  • He reserved judgment until he had all the facts.
  • She reserved her opinions on the matter until further information was available.
  • The library allows patrons to reserve books ahead of time.
  • He reserved a portion of his income for savings and investments.

Origin of RESERVE

The term reserve embarks on a linguistic journey, tracing its origins through centuries of administrative, military, and economic development. Rooted in Middle French and Latin influences, it has evolved into a versatile term that signifies setting aside, preserving, or safeguarding something for future use or contingency.

  • Middle French Roots: The word reserve is derived from the Middle French noun “reserve,” which meant “a keeping back” or “a withholding.” In French, “reserve” was formed from the verb “reserver,” meaning “to keep back” or “to hold in reserve.”
  • Latin Influence: The Middle French term “reserve” itself was influenced by Latin, particularly the verb “reservare,” which means “to keep back” or “to preserve.” Latin also contributed the noun “reservatio,” which means “reservation” or “keeping.”
  • Administrative and Military Usage: In its earliest usage, reserve referred to the act of holding back or setting aside resources, supplies, or personnel for future use or emergency situations. This concept was integral to military strategy, where reserves of troops or materials were kept in readiness for deployment as needed.
  • Economic Context: In economics, reserve refers to assets, funds, or commodities that are held in reserve to mitigate risks, stabilize markets, or fulfill obligations. This can include foreign exchange reserves, central bank reserves, or strategic petroleum reserves.
  • Environmental Conservation: In the realm of environmental conservation, reserve denotes protected areas of land or water set aside for the conservation of natural habitats, wildlife, or cultural heritage. These reserves may include national parks, wildlife reserves, or marine reserves.

Reserve stands as a term that reflects humanity’s foresight, prudence, and preparation for the future. From its Middle French and Latin roots to its modern-day applications in military strategy, economics, and environmental stewardship, the word embodies the concept of setting aside resources or areas for future use, protection, or preservation.


  • Restraint
  • Discretion
  • Reservation
  • Caution
  • Quietness
  • Reticence
  • Modesty
  • Sobriety


  • Openness
  • Boldness
  • Extravagance
  • Expressiveness
  • Unrestraint
  • Outspokenness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Overt


  • Reserved
  • Reservedness
  • Withholding
  • Taciturn
  • Stoic
  • Aloof
  • Containment
  • Self-restraint

🌐 🇬🇧 RESERVE in other languages

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