- 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 unsafe
Ippoliti says that the centers should close because many are overcrowded and unsafe.In Rome’s Riots, Cries for Mussolini and Attacks on Refugees
Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 14, 2014
“After my experiences in 1984, I felt that it was unsafe for me to live as a Sikh in India,” said Singh.As 30-Year Anniversary of Mass Killings in India Arrives, Sikhs Find Safety in USA
Simran Jeet Singh
October 31, 2014
Women are consequently more likely to subject themselves to unsafe abortions or continue pregnancies against their will.Time for U.S. to Support Abortion for Rape Victims in Other Countries
October 17, 2014
So why ignore the 68,000 women who die each year from unsafe abortions?
In fact, as noted above, unsafe abortion is one of the leading three causes of maternal mortality worldwide.
Two at least have suffered demolition, and one is now closed as unsafe.
It is unsafe to establish dates for first discoveries, or for first settlements.Afloat on the Ohio
Reuben Gold Thwaites
To venture back to Dublin would have been unsafe on every account.The O'Donoghue
Charles James Lever
What she longed to say was, "Why do you keep it there if it is so unsafe?"The Carroll Girls
I was ahead of John, picking the way; and I found, to my cost, that the way was unsafe.Billy Topsail & Company
- not safe; perilous
- (of a criminal conviction) based on inadequate or false evidence
- 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 unsafe
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.).
Idioms and Phrases with unsafe
In addition to the idioms beginning with safe
- safe and sound
- safe as houses
- better safe than sorry
- on the safe side
- play it safe