[ seyf ]
See synonyms for: safesafersafestsafes on

adjective,saf·er, saf·est.
  1. secure from liability to harm, injury, danger, or risk: a safe place.

  2. free from hurt, injury, danger, or risk: to arrive safe and sound.

  1. involving little or no risk of mishap, error, etc.: a safe estimate.

  2. dependable or trustworthy: a safe guide.

  3. careful to avoid danger or controversy: a safe player; a safe play.

  4. denied the chance to do harm; in secure custody: a criminal safe in jail.

  5. Baseball.

    • reaching base without being put out: safe on the throw to first base.

    • making it possible to reach a base: a safe slide.

  1. Informal. in a safe manner; safely: Learn how to drive safe.: See Grammar note at adverb.

  1. a steel or iron box or repository for money, jewels, papers, etc.

  2. any receptacle or structure for the storage or preservation of articles: a meat safe.

  1. (in plumbing)

  2. Slang. a condom.

Idioms about safe

  1. play it safe, play (def. 85).

Origin of safe

First recorded in 1250–1300; (adjective) Middle English sauf, saf from Anglo-French saf, Old French sauf from Latin salvus “intact, whole”; (noun) late Middle English save, originally derivative of save1, assimilated to the adjective; cf. salvation

synonym study For safe

1. Safe, secure can both imply that something can be regarded as free from danger. These words are frequently interchangeable. Safe, however, is applied rather to a person or thing that is out of or has passed beyond the reach of danger: The ship is safe in port. Secure is applied to that about which there is no need to fear or worry: to feel secure about the future; The foundation of the house does not seem very secure.

Other words for safe

Other words from safe

  • safe·ly, adverb
  • safe·ness, noun
  • qua·si-safe, adjective
  • su·per·safe, adjective
  • su·per·safe·ness, noun
  • ul·tra·safe, adjective
  • un·safe, adjective
  • un·safe·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use safe in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for safe


/ (seɪf) /

  1. affording security or protection from harm: a safe place

  2. (postpositive) free from danger: you'll be safe here

  1. secure from risk; certain; sound: a safe investment; a safe bet

  2. worthy of trust; prudent: a safe companion

  3. tending to avoid controversy or risk: a safe player

  4. unable to do harm; not dangerous: a criminal safe behind bars; water safe to drink

  5. British informal excellent

  6. on the safe side as a precaution

  1. in a safe condition: the children are safe in bed now

  2. play safe to act in a way least likely to cause danger, controversy, or defeat

  1. a strong container, usually of metal and provided with a secure lock, for storing money or valuables

  2. a small ventilated cupboard-like container for storing food

  1. US and Canadian a slang word for condom

Origin of safe

C13: from Old French salf, from Latin salvus; related to Latin salus safety

Derived forms of safe

  • safely, adverb
  • safeness, noun

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 safe


In addition to the idioms beginning with safe

  • safe and sound
  • safe as houses

also see:

  • better safe than sorry
  • on the safe side
  • play it safe

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