Etymology
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reserve (v.)

mid-14c., "keep back or in store for future use;" late 14c., "keep as one's own," from Old French reserver "set aside, withhold" (12c.) and directly from Latin reservare "keep back, save up; retain, preserve," from re- "back" (see re-) + servare "to keep, save, preserve, protect" (from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect"). Meaning "to book" is from 1935. Related: Reserved; reserving.

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reserve (n.)

1610s, "something stored up," from reserve (v.) or from French réserve, a back-formation from reserver "set aside, withhold," from Latin reservare "keep back, save up; retain, preserve," from re- "back" (see re-) + servare "to keep, save, preserve, protect" (from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect").

Meaning "self-imposed restraint on freedom of words or actions; habit of keeping back the feelings" is from 1650s. The meaning "district or place set apart for some particular use" is by 1805. The sense of "amount of capital kept on hand to meet probable expenses or demand" is by 1866. That of "amount of natural resources known to exist in a particular region" is by 1912. As an adjective, "kept in reserve," by 1719.

The military sense of "body of troops withheld from action to serve as reinforcements, etc." is from 1640s; that of "national emergency defense or auxiliary military force" (reserves) is by 1866.

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reservist (n.)

"soldier who belongs to the reserves," 1872, from French réserviste, from reserver (see reserve (v.)).

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unreserved (adj.)

1530s, "not restricted or withheld," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of reserve (v.). From 1713 as "open, frank." Related: Unreservedly.

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reserved (adj.)

c. 1600, "guarded" (in manner), "averse to showing familiarity," past-participle adjective from reserve (v.). The meaning "set or kept apart for another or future purpose" is by 1610s; specifically of seats, tables, etc., "set aside for a future use," especially by a particular person, from 1858.

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re-serve (v.)

"serve again, serve what has been served previously," 1866, from re- "back, again" + serve (v.). Spelled with a hyphen to distinguish it from reserve. Related: Re-served; re-serving.

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*ser- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to protect." It forms all or part of: conservation; conservative; conserve; observance; observatory; observe; preserve; reservation; reserve; reservoir.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Avestan haurvaiti "to guard;" Latin servare "to guard, keep, watch;" Old Church Slavonic xraniti "to guard, protect;" Old High German gi-sarwi "armor, equipment," Old English searu "art, skill; wile, deceit."

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subsidiary (adj.)

1540s, from Latin subsidiarius "belonging to a reserve, of a reserve, reserved; serving to assist or supplement," from subsidium "a help, aid, relief, troops in reserve" (see subsidy). As a noun, c. 1600, "subsidiary thing." In Latin the word was used as a noun meaning "the reserve."

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free-spoken (adj.)

"accustomed to speaking without reserve," 1620s, from free (adj.) + -spoken.

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backup (n.)

"a standby, a reserve," 1952; see back up (v.). Specific reference to computing is from 1965.

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