- 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 for safe on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for safe
And it must make sure that the platform of debate where we can freely exchange ideas is safe and sound.Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
January 8, 2015
They called for peace, reconciliation, and the safe return of Father Gregorio.Mexico’s Priests Are Marked for Murder
January 7, 2015
Their leader, Njie, still going by “Dave” during the operation, would stay a safe distance away until the State House was secure.The Shadowy U.S. Veteran Who Tried to Overthrow a Country
January 6, 2015
“We wish each and every one of you a happy and safe new year,” Giorgio said at the very end.Cop Families Boo De Blasio at NYPD Graduation
December 30, 2014
There was Carol White, a ho-hum homemaker who finds herself besieged by multiple chemical sensitivity in Safe.Julianne Moore Is Oscar Gold in ‘Still Alice’
December 24, 2014
Two furlongs hence, and we shall be safe in the hostel at Dogmersfield.
“Nay, he is safe at home, where I would I were,” sighed Kit.
Gave the horses as much as I considered it safe for them to have at one time.
We are now safe again, and I must give the horses a few days' rest.
It traded with all the world and offered a safe home to the merchant and to the artisan.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
- 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 safe
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.).