- secure from liability to harm, injury, danger, or risk: a safe place.
- free from hurt, injury, danger, or risk: to arrive safe and sound.
- involving little or no risk of mishap, error, etc.: a safe estimate.
- dependable or trustworthy: a safe guide.
- careful to avoid danger or controversy: a safe player; a safe play.
- denied the chance to do harm; in secure custody: a criminal safe in jail.
- reaching base without being put out: safe on the throw to first base.
- making it possible to reach a base: a safe slide.
- Informal. in a safe manner; safely: Learn how to drive safe.See Grammar note at adverb.
- a steel or iron box or repository for money, jewels, papers, etc.
- any receptacle or structure for the storage or preservation of articles: a meat safe.
- (in plumbing)
- a pan for catching leakage.
- template(def 7).
- Slang. a condom.
- play it safe, play(def 85).
Origin of safe
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for safely
The Affordable Care Act is safely embedded, with repeal unlikely even with a freshly minted Republican Senate.Obama’s One Hand Clap With Castro
December 24, 2014
When you are safely out, you give your password to the smuggler who calls it in to the broker to release the funds.Inside the Smuggling Networks Flooding Europe with Refugees
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 15, 2014
We sought out the one man who could safely guide us in and out of the Korengal Valley: Zalwar Khan.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
While that cause may be safely discarded, the correct one is hard to pin down.The True Story of ‘The Elephant Man’
November 3, 2014
However, there was always an understanding that the 'due month' would be released after Kate had safely passed the 12-week mark.Royal Baby Due In April
October 20, 2014
The Ark of God would bear them safely when all material help failed.The Conquest of Fear
Yet he felt that the matter could not safely be left in the hands of Dick himself.Within the Law
We may indeed regard his friendship with Handel as safely authenticated.Handel
Edward J. Dent
He boggled slightly as he came to the "adjective," but got over it safely.In the Midst of Alarms
In its surface he could safely look at the reflection of the Gorgon's face.The Gorgon's Head
- affording security or protection from harma safe place
- (postpositive) free from dangeryou'll be safe here
- secure from risk; certain; sounda safe investment; a safe bet
- worthy of trust; prudenta safe companion
- tending to avoid controversy or riska safe player
- unable to do harm; not dangerousa criminal safe behind bars; water safe to drink
- British informal excellent
- on the safe side as a precaution
- in a safe conditionthe children are safe in bed now
- play safe to act in a way least likely to cause danger, controversy, or defeat
- a strong container, usually of metal and provided with a secure lock, for storing money or valuables
- a small ventilated cupboard-like container for storing food
- US and Canadian a slang word for condom
Word Origin and History for safely
c.1300, "unscathed, unhurt, uninjured; free from danger or molestation, in safety, secure; saved spiritually, redeemed, not damned;" from Old French sauf "protected, watched-over; assured of salvation," from Latin salvus "uninjured, in good health, safe," related to salus "good health," saluber "healthful," all from PIE *solwos from root *sol- "whole" (cf. Latin solidus "solid," Sanskrit sarvah "uninjured, intact, whole," Avestan haurva- "uninjured, intact," Old Persian haruva-, Greek holos "whole").
As a quasi-preposition from c.1300, on model of French and Latin cognates. From late 14c. as "rescued, delivered; protected; left alive, unkilled." Meaning "not exposed to danger" (of places) is attested from late 14c.; of actions, etc., "free from risk," first recorded 1580s. Meaning "sure, reliable, not a danger" is from c.1600. Sense of "conservative, cautious" is from 1823. Paired alliteratively with sound (adj.) from late 14c. The noun safe-conduct (late 13c.) is from Old French sauf-conduit (13c.).
"chest for keeping food or valuables," early 15c., save, from Middle French en sauf "in safety," from sauf (see safe (adj.)). Spelling with -f- first recorded 1680s, from influence of safe (adj.).