1 : to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction [expenses necessary to the property]
2 a : to keep valid, intact, or in existence (as pending a proceeding) [the right of a trial by jury shall be preserved "U.S. Constitution amend. VII"] [the dismissal of a chapter 7 case…reinstates certain transfers voided or preserved in the case "J. H. Williamson"]
b : to maintain for use or consideration at a later time esp. by keeping a record of [deposed the witness to her testimony] [a party has the option of preserving the objection raised "J. H. Friedenthal et al. "]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.