1. (Science: geology) Typically used to describe the amount of a substance which can be extracted from the earth with current technology at current prices. Typically much smaller than resources.
2. That which is reserved, or kept back, as for future use. The virgins, besides the oil in their lamps, carried likewise a reserve in some other vessel for a continual supply. (Tillotson)
3. That which is excepted; exception. Each has some darling lust, which pleads for a reserve. (Rogers)
4. Restraint of freedom in words or actions; backwardness; caution in personal behavior. My soul, surprised, and from her sex disjoined, left all reserve, and all the sex, behind. (prior) The clergyman’s shy and sensitive reserve had balked this scheme. (Hawthorne)
5. A tract of land reserved, or set apart, for a particular purpose.
6. A body of troops in the rear of an army drawn up for battle, reserved to support the other lines as occasion may require; a force or body of troops kept for an exigency.
7. Funds kept on hand to meet liabilities. In reserve, in keeping for other or future use; in store; as, he has large quantities of wheat in reserve; he has evidence or arguments in reserve. Reserve air.
Synonym: reservation, retention, limitation, backwardness, reservedness, coldness, restraint,
shyness, coyness, modesty.
Origin: F. Reserve.