reserve Definition

  • 1a supply of a commodity not needed for immediate use but available if required
  • 2an area of land set aside for occupation by North American Indians or Australian Aborigines
  • 3a person's self-restraint and avoidance of indulgence

Using reserve: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "reserve" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The company keeps a reserve of emergency funds.

  • Example

    The national park has a wildlife reserve.

  • Example

    He showed great reserve in his response to the criticism.

reserve Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for reserve

Antonyms for reserve

Idioms Using reserve

  • held in readiness for use or kept in store


    The hotel had no rooms available, but they put us on reserve in case of cancellations.

  • throw caution to the wind(s)

    to act without considering the possible risks or consequences


    She usually exercises great reserve, but today she threw caution to the wind and went skydiving.

  • to reserve a table, room, or seat in advance


    We need to make a reservation for dinner tonight.

Phrases with reserve

  • to delay making a decision or forming an opinion about something until more information is available


    I'll reserve judgment until I hear both sides of the story.

  • a military force that is not on active duty but can be called up in an emergency


    He served in the military reserve for six years.

  • an area of land where animals and plants are protected and preserved


    The nature reserve is home to many endangered species.

Origins of reserve

from Old French 'reserver', from Latin 'reservare', meaning 'to keep back'


Summary: reserve in Brief

The term 'reserve' [rɪˈzɜːv] refers to a supply of something not needed immediately but available if required, such as emergency funds or a military force. It also denotes an area of land set aside for occupation by indigenous peoples or wildlife. 'Reserve' can also refer to a person's self-restraint and avoidance of indulgence, as in 'He showed great reserve in his response to the criticism.' Idioms like 'on reserve' and 'make a reservation' are also common.

How do native speakers use this expression?