safety

[seyf-tee]

noun, plural safe·ties.


Origin of safety

1250–1300; Middle English sauvete < Middle French. See safe, -ty2
Related formsself-safe·ty, nounsu·per·safe·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for safety

safety

noun plural -ties

the quality of being safe
freedom from danger or risk of injury
a contrivance or device designed to prevent injury
American football
  1. Also called: safetymaneither of two players who defend the area furthest back in the field
  2. 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 teamCompare 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

Word Origin and History for safety
n.

early 14c., from Old French sauvete "safety, safeguard; salvation; security, surety," earlier salvetet (11c., Modern French sauveté), from Medieval Latin salvitatem (nominative salvitas) "safety," from Latin salvus (see safe (adj.)). Meaning "trigger-lock on a gun" is attested from 1881.

As a North American football position, first recorded 1931. As a type of score against one's own team, 1881. Safety-valve, which diminishes the risk of explosion, is from 1797; figurative sense recorded from 1818. Safety-net in literal sense (in machinery) by 1916, later of aerial circus performances (1920s); figurative use by 1950. Safety-first as an accident-prevention slogan first recorded 1873.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper