v. & n.
v.tr. 1 postpone, put aside, keep back for a later occasion or special use. 2 order to be specially retained or allocated for a particular person or at a particular time. 3 retain or secure, esp. by formal or legal stipulation (reserve the right to). 4 postpone delivery of (judgement etc.) (reserved my comments until the end).
n. 1 a thing reserved for future use; an extra stock or amount (a great reserve of strength; huge energy reserves). 2 a limitation, qualification, or exception attached to something (accept your offer without reserve). 3 a self-restraint; reticence; lack of cordiality (difficult to overcome his reserve). b (in artistic or literary expression) absence from exaggeration or ill-proportioned effects. 4 a company's profit added to capital. 5 (in sing. or pl.) assets kept readily available as cash or at a central bank, or as gold or foreign exchange (reserve currency). 6 (in sing. or pl.) a troops withheld from action to reinforce or protect others. b forces in addition to the regular army, navy, airforce, etc., but available in an emergency. 7 a member of the military reserve. 8 an extra player chosen to be a possible substitute in a team. 9 a place reserved for special use, esp. as a habitat for a native tribe or for wildlife (game reserve; nature reserve). 10 the intentional suppression of the truth (exercised a certain amount of reserve). 11 (in the decoration of ceramics or textiles) an area which still has the original colour of the material or the colour of the background. in reserve unused and available if required. reserve grade Austral. a second-grade team. reserve price the lowest acceptable price stipulated for an item sold at an auction. with all (or all proper) reserve without endorsing. reservable adj. reserver n.
[ ME f. OF reserver f. L reservare (as RE-, servare keep) ]