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[seyv] /seɪv/
verb (used with object), saved, saving.
to rescue from danger or possible harm, injury, or loss:
to save someone from drowning.
to keep safe, intact, or unhurt; safeguard; preserve:
God save the king.
to keep from being lost:
to save the game.
to avoid the spending, consumption, or waste of:
to save fuel.
to keep, as for reuse:
to save leftovers for tomorrow's dinner.
to set aside, reserve, or lay by:
to save money.
to treat carefully in order to reduce wear, fatigue, etc.:
to save one's eyes by reading under proper light.
to prevent the occurrence, use, or necessity of; obviate:
to come early in order to save waiting.
Theology. to deliver from the power and consequences of sin.
Computers. to copy (a file) from RAM onto a disk or other storage medium.
Sports. to stop (a ball or puck) from entering one's goal.
verb (used without object), saved, saving.
to lay up money as the result of economy or thrift.
to be economical in expenditure.
to preserve something from harm, injury, loss, etc.
to admit of being kept without spoiling, as food.
an act or instance of saving, especially in sports.
Baseball. a statistical credit given a relief pitcher for preserving a team's victory by holding its lead in a game.
Origin of save1
1175-1225; Middle English sa(u)ven < Old French sauver < Late Latin salvāre to save; see safe
Related forms
savable, saveable, adjective
savableness, saveableness, noun
saver, noun
unsavable, adjective
unsaveable, adjective
unsaved, adjective
1. salvage. 6. store up, husband. 12. economize, hoard. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for saver
Historical Examples
  • And his popular sobriquet was Simon the saver (Anglicè, miser).

  • Eh, saver above, it wouldn't be the death of his sister—of Connor's Oona!

    Fardorougha, The Miser William Carleton
  • Civilization is a saver of life into life and death into death.

  • The sight of his patron, the saver of his life, is like having it saved a second time.

  • And this is how Archibald Smith was the unwitting cause of so much anger to the battery, and the saver of many a German life.

    Mud and Khaki Vernon Bartlett
  • He was, “in the best sense,” she wrote elsewhere, “a saver of men.”

  • Or are you in Freeland of opinion that it is unjust to give to the saver a share of the fruits of his saving?'

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • It's upon your two knees you ought to drop, an'—saver above, what's the matther wid him?

    Fardorougha, The Miser William Carleton
  • It was no new thing to me to know the Irish peasant in his character as a hoarder and a saver.

  • The determining factor in the situation is the attitude of the saver toward the capital sum accumulated.

    Distributive Justice John A. (John Augustine) Ryan
British Dictionary definitions for saver


(transitive) to rescue, preserve, or guard (a person or thing) from danger or harm
to avoid the spending, waste, or loss of (money, possessions, etc)
(transitive) to deliver from sin; redeem
(often foll by up) to set aside or reserve (money, goods, etc) for future use
(transitive) to treat with care so as to avoid or lessen wear or degeneration: use a good light to save your eyes
(transitive) to prevent the necessity for; obviate the trouble of: good work now will save future revision
(transitive) (sport) to prevent (a goal) by stopping (a struck ball or puck)
(intransitive) (mainly US) (of food) to admit of preservation; keep
(sport) the act of saving a goal
(computing) an instruction to write information from the memory onto a tape or disk
Derived Forms
savable, saveable, adjective
savableness, saveableness, noun
saver, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French salver, via Late Latin from Latin salvus safe


(often foll by for) Also saving. with the exception of
but; except
Word Origin
C13 sauf, from Old French, from Latin salvō, from salvus safe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for saver

c.1300, "savior," agent noun from save (v.). Meaning "one who economizes" is 1540s; meaning "means of saving" is from 1660s.



c.1200, "to deliver from some danger; rescue from peril, bring to safety," also "prevent the death of;" also theological, "to deliver from sin or its consequences; admit to eternal life; gain salvation," from Old French sauver "keep (safe), protect, redeem," from Late Latin salvare "make safe, secure," from Latin salvus "safe" (see safe (adj.)). From c.1300 as "reserve for future use, hold back, store up instead of spending;" hence "keep possession of" (late 14c.).

Save face (1898) first was used among the British community in China and is said to be from Chinese; it has not been found in Chinese, but tiu lien "to lose face" does occur. To not (do something) to save one's life is recorded from 1848. To save (one's) breath "cease talking or arguing" is from 1926.


in the sports sense of "act of preventing opponent from scoring," 1890, from save (v.).


"except," early 14c., from adjective save, which also was an early variant of safe (adj.), paralleling evolution in Old French sauf "safe," prepositional use of the adjective, in phrases such as saulve l'honneur "save (our) honor;" also a use in Latin (salva lege, etc.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for saver


Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with saver
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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