[ seyf-tee ]
See synonyms for safety on
noun,plural safe·ties.
  1. the state of being safe; freedom from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss.

  2. the quality of averting or not causing injury, danger, or loss.

  1. a contrivance or device to prevent injury or avert danger.

  2. Also called lock, safety catch, safety lock. a locking or cutoff device that prevents a gun from being fired accidentally.

  3. the action of keeping safe.

  4. Football.

    • an act or play in which a player on the offensive team is tackled in his own end zone or downs the ball there, or in which the ball goes out of bounds on a fumble, having last been in bounds in or over the end zone and having last been in the possession of an offensive player.: Compare touchback.

    • an award of two points to the opposing team on this play.

    • Also called safety man. a player on defense who lines up farthest behind the line of scrimmage.

  5. Baseball. a base hit, especially a one-base hit.

  6. Slang. a condom.

  7. Obsolete. close confinement or custody.

Origin of safety

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English sauvete, from Middle French; equivalent to safe + -ty2

Other words from safety

  • self-safety, noun
  • su·per·safe·ty, noun

Words Nearby safety Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use safety in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for safety


/ (ˈseɪftɪ) /

nounplural -ties
  1. the quality of being safe

  2. freedom from danger or risk of injury

  1. a contrivance or device designed to prevent injury

  2. American football

    • Also called: safetyman either of two players who defend the area furthest back in the field

    • a play in which the offensive team causes the ball to cross its own goal line and then grounds the ball behind that line, scoring two points for the opposing team: Compare touchback

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