[ seyv ]
See synonyms for save on
verb (used with object),saved, sav·ing.
  1. to rescue from danger or possible harm, injury, or loss: to save someone from drowning.

  2. to keep safe, intact, or unhurt; safeguard; preserve: God save the king.

  1. to keep from being lost to an opponent: A goal in the final minute saved the game.

  2. to avoid the spending, consumption, or waste of: to save fuel.

  3. to keep, as for reuse: to save leftovers for tomorrow's dinner.

  4. to set aside, reserve, or lay by: to save money.

  5. to treat carefully in order to reduce wear, fatigue, etc.: to save one's eyes by reading under proper light.

  6. to prevent the occurrence, use, or necessity of; obviate: to come early in order to save waiting.

  7. Theology. to deliver from the power and consequences of sin.

  8. Computers. to copy (a file or other data) to a storage medium, as from RAM to a disk.

  9. Sports. to stop (a ball or puck) from entering one's goal.

verb (used without object),saved, sav·ing.
  1. to lay up money as the result of economy or thrift.

  2. to be economical in expenditure.

  1. to preserve something from harm, injury, loss, etc.

  2. to keep or last without spoiling, as food.

  1. an act or instance of saving, especially in sports: The goalie guarded the net well and made a crucial save.

  2. Baseball. a statistical credit given a relief pitcher for preserving a team's victory by holding its lead in a game.

  1. Computers.

    • an act of copying a file or other data to a storage medium: The server is scheduled to execute a systemwide save at the end of the work day.

    • one version of a saved file: We can recover the lost data if we restore it from a previous save.

Origin of save

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English sa(u)ven, from Old French sauver, salver, from Late Latin salvāre “to save”; see origin at safe

Other words for save

Other words from save

  • sav·a·ble, save·a·ble, adjective
  • sav·a·ble·ness, save·a·ble·ness, noun
  • saver, noun
  • un·sav·a·ble, adjective
  • un·save·a·ble, adjective
  • un·saved, adjective

Words Nearby save

Other definitions for save (2 of 3)

[ seyv ]

  1. except; but: All the guests had left save one.

  1. except; but (usually followed by that): He would have gone, save that he had no means.

Origin of save

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English sauue, sauf, save, variant of safe

synonym study For save

1. See except1.

Other definitions for Save (3 of 3)

[ sah-vuh ]

noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use save in a sentence

  • This will often save the foliage from drying up, a happening which makes the plants rather unsightly.

    How to Know the Ferns | S. Leonard Bastin
  • His hair was darker—almost brown save at the temples, where age had faded it to an ashen colour.

    St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
  • Among the clergy therein he finds no offenses, save that a few have gambled in public; these are promptly disciplined.

  • My thought was to keep pushing in troops from "W" Beach until the enemy had fallen back to save themselves from being cut off.

  • She reached forward to it in ecstasy; but she might not enjoy it, save at the price which her conscience exacted.

    Hilda Lessways | Arnold Bennett

British Dictionary definitions for save (1 of 2)


/ (seɪv) /

  1. (tr) to rescue, preserve, or guard (a person or thing) from danger or harm

  2. to avoid the spending, waste, or loss of (money, possessions, etc)

  1. (tr) to deliver from sin; redeem

  2. (often foll by up) to set aside or reserve (money, goods, etc) for future use

  3. (tr) to treat with care so as to avoid or lessen wear or degeneration: use a good light to save your eyes

  4. (tr) to prevent the necessity for; obviate the trouble of: good work now will save future revision

  5. (tr) sport to prevent (a goal) by stopping (a struck ball or puck)

  6. (intr) mainly US (of food) to admit of preservation; keep

  1. sport the act of saving a goal

  2. computing an instruction to write information from the memory onto a tape or disk

Origin of save

C13: from Old French salver, via Late Latin from Latin salvus safe

Derived forms of save

  • savable or saveable, adjective
  • savableness or saveableness, noun
  • saver, noun

British Dictionary definitions for save (2 of 2)


/ (seɪv) archaic, or literary /

  1. Also: saving (often foll by for) with the exception of

  1. but; except

Origin of save

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with save


In addition to the idioms beginning with save

  • saved by the bell
  • save face
  • save for a rainy day
  • save one's bacon
  • save one's breath
  • save the day
  • save up

also see:

  • penny saved is a penny earned
  • rainy day, save for a
  • scrimp and save
  • to save one's life

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.