In financial accounting, the term reserve is most commonly used to describe any part of shareholders' equity, except for basic share capital. In nonprofit accounting, an "operating reserve" is commonly used to refer to unrestricted cash on hand availabto sustain an organization, and nonprofit boards usually specify a target of maintaining several months of operating cash or a percentage of their annual income, called an Operating Reserve Ratio.

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  1. The act of reserving, or keeping back; reservation; exception.
    I accept your view with one reserve.
  2. That which is reserved, or kept back, as for future use.
  3. A natural resource known to exist but not currently exploited.
    New oil reserves are continuously being discovered, but not as fast as the existing ones are running out.
  4. Restraint of freedom in words or actions; backwardness; caution in personal behavior.
  5. A tract of land reserved, or set apart, for a particular purpose; as, the Connecticut Reserve in Ohio, originally set apart for the school fund of Connecticut; the Clergy Reserves in Canada, for the support of the clergy.
  6. A tract of land set apart for the use of an Aboriginal group; Indian reserve (compare US .)
  7. A body of troops kept 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.
  8. Funds kept on hand to meet planned or unplanned financial requirements.
  9. A member of a team who does not participate from the start of the game, but can be used to replace tired or injured team-mates.
  10. A group or pile of cards dealt out at the beginning of a patience or solitaire game to be used during play.


  1. To keep back; to retain.
    We reserve the right to make modifications.
  2. To keep in store for future or special use.
    This cake is reserved for the guests!
  3. To book in advance; to make a reservation.
    I reserved a table for us at the best restaurant in town.
  4. To make an exception of; to except.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: reserve
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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