Meaning of SAFE in English



1. not in danger of being killed, harmed, or attacked

2. not in danger of being lost, stolen, or damaged

3. a safe place

4. when something is not likely to cause harm

5. activities or people who make people and places safer





1. not in danger of being killed, harmed, or attacked

▷ safe /seɪf/ [adjective not before noun]

▪ Do you think she’ll be safe in the house all alone?

▪ As long as we keep to the main road we should be safe.

safe from

▪ The turtles lay their eggs in the damp sand where they are safe from predators.

safe and sound

safe and unharmed, especially after being in danger

▪ The missing children were eventually found at a friend’s house, safe and sound.

▷ safely /ˈseɪfli/ [adverb]

if you do something safely, you succeed in doing it without being killed, harmed, or attacked :

▪ Once we were safely back on shore, we checked the boat for damage.

▪ Most air travellers would be prepared to pay more to be sure of travelling safely.

▷ safety /ˈseɪfti/ [uncountable noun]

when you are safe from danger or harm :

▪ The boy has been missing for six days, and there are fears for his safety.

for somebody’s safety

so that someone is safe

▪ For your own safety, please do not smoke until you are outside the plane.

▪ For the safety of the public, this man must be caught.

in safety

▪ Our planes are regularly serviced, so that passengers can be sure they are travelling in safety.

▷ be out of danger /biː ˌaʊt əv ˈdeɪndʒəʳ/ [verb phrase]

to be safe, after being in a dangerous situation :

▪ Once out of danger, he relaxed. ‘Phew, that could have been nasty’.

▪ Mary raced on, thankful for her escape. Even now, however, she was not out of danger.

▷ secure /sɪˈkjʊəʳ/ [adjective]

feeling safe and free from danger :

▪ The children all slept together in the same bed, snug and secure.

▪ She felt much more secure now that she had put a bolt on the door.

safe and secure

▪ Children need to feel safe and secure about the world they grow up in.

▷ security /sɪˈkjʊ ə rɪti, sɪˈkjʊ ə rəti/ [uncountable noun]

freedom from harm or danger, especially from the danger of being robbed, killed, or attacked :

for somebody’s security

▪ For the security of passengers, all hand baggage is carefully checked.

false sense of security

when you feel safe but in fact you are not

▪ His wide-eyed innocence had lulled me into a false sense of security.

▷ be in good/safe hands /biː ɪn ˌgʊd, ˌseɪf ˈhændz/ [verb phrase]

if someone such as a child or sick person is in good hands, they are safe because doctors or other responsible people are looking after them :

▪ Don’t worry about the children. They’re in safe hands with Monica.

▪ Although Grandad was very ill in hospital, it was a comfort for us to know he was in good hands.

2. not in danger of being lost, stolen, or damaged

▷ safe /seɪf/ [adjective not before noun]

▪ Your money will be safer in the bank.

it is safe to do something

something will be safe if you do it

▪ Would it be safer to park my car in the driveway?

keep something safe

▪ I’m trusting you with these documents, so make sure you keep them safe.

▷ secure /sɪˈkjʊəʳ/ [adjective]

safe, especially from thieves or other criminals :

▪ Make sure the building is completely secure before you leave.

▪ If your password gets known by anyone else, your data may not be secure.

secure from

▪ He kept his savings under his bed, secure from the prying eyes of his roommate.

security [uncountable noun]

▪ The security of the information depends on how many people know the access code.

▷ be as safe as houses /biː əz ˌseɪf əz ˈhaʊzə̇z/ [verb phrase] British

if your money or savings are as safe as houses, they are completely safe :

▪ There’s no financial risk. Your money is as safe as houses with us.

3. a safe place

▷ safe /seɪf/ [adjective]

▪ We want the streets to be safe for our children.

in a safe place

▪ Keep the receipt in a safe place.

from/at a safe distance

far enough away from something dangerous

▪ Mothers held on to their children tightly, letting them watch the fireworks from a safe distance.

(at) a safe distance from something

▪ Hiding in the hedge a safe distance from the truck, she waited for the man to appear.

▷ be out of harm’s way /biː ˌaʊt əv ˌhɑːʳmz ˈweɪ/ [verb phrase]

if someone or something is out of harm’s way, they are in a place where they cannot be hurt or damaged :

▪ She put the glass vases on the top shelf, out of harm’s way.

well out of harm’s way

▪ The device sends the fish to the bottom of the pond, well out of harm’s way.

▷ safety /ˈseɪfti/ [uncountable noun]

a place where you are safe from danger :

reach safety

▪ By the time the men reached safety, they were exhausted and half starved.

the safety of something

▪ She rushed back to the safety of her own house.

carry/lead/take somebody to safety

▪ The firefighters carried the children to safety.

▪ A film cameraman was airlifted to safety yesterday after being trapped inside a volcano for two days.

▷ refuge /ˈrefjuːdʒ/ [countable/uncountable noun]

a place where you can go in order to escape from a dangerous or unpleasant situation :

refuge from

▪ The basement provided us with a refuge from the fighting.

refuge for

▪ The Allies are being asked to provide more refuges for those fleeing the fighting.

place of refuge

▪ Zurich’s importance as a business centre grew, as did its reputation as a place of refuge.

take refuge

go somewhere that is safe

▪ During the flooding, people took refuge in the hills.

seek refuge from something

try to find a safe place, to escape from a dangerous situation

▪ Thousands of families came here seeking refuge from the civil war.

▷ haven /ˈheɪv ə n/ [countable noun]

a peaceful place where people go in order to escape from danger or suffering, and where they feel very safe :

haven for

▪ She finally found a place to escape to, a small haven for herself and her daughter.

▪ The church is a haven of peace in one of London’s busiest areas.

safe haven

a safe place

▪ The massacre took place in what was supposed to be a UN safe haven.

▷ sanctuary /ˈsæŋktʃuəri, -tʃəriǁ-tʃueri/ [countable noun]

a peaceful place that is safe and provides protection, especially for people who are in danger :

▪ I thought of my bedroom as a sanctuary.

▪ The Church should be a sanctuary for the oppressed.

4. when something is not likely to cause harm

▷ safe /seɪf/ [adjective]

a safe activity, journey, way of doing something etc does not involve any danger :

▪ Flying is one of the safest forms of travel.

▪ Bye Sarah, have a safe journey.

▪ the safe disposal of radioactive waste

▪ Dr Williams said the drug would continue to be used because it was safe for most patients.

it is safe to do something

▪ Is it safe to swim in the water here?

safe sex

sex that avoids the risk of disease

▪ Do teenagers know enough about safe sex and contraception?

perfectly safe

used especially to emphasize to someone that something is safe

▪ Our buses have to pass a safety test each year and are perfectly safe.

safely [adverb]

▪ The nuclear waste is safely buried in the deepest part of the ocean.

▷ harmless /ˈhɑːʳmləs/ [adjective]

an animal or chemical that is harmless will not harm or injure anyone, even though it may seem dangerous :

▪ Our dog makes a lot of noise, but he’s perfectly harmless.

▪ We need to persuade parents that almost all vaccines are harmless.

harmless to

▪ Essential oils are harmless to skin, provided they are used correctly.

5. activities or people who make people and places safer

▷ security /sɪˈkjʊ ə rɪti, sɪˈkjʊ ə rəti/ [uncountable noun]

things that are done to make sure that someone does not get attacked or robbed :

▪ They need to improve security here - anyone could just walk in.

▪ Security has been increased at all airports in the wake of the attacks.

security measures/checks/procedures

▪ Strict security measures were in force during the President’s visit.

security guard/man

▪ A uniformed security man met them at the gate.

tight security

very careful security

▪ There is tight security at the airport and all baggage is being searched.

high security

carefully protected or made safe

▪ a high security prison

▷ safety /ˈseɪfti/ [uncountable noun]

ways of preventing dangerous accidents :

▪ Safety needs to be improved on all our railways.

safety measures/checks/precautions

▪ We handle many chemicals that require special safety precautions.

road safety

rules and methods for using roads safely

▪ All children should be taught road safety from an early age.

health and safety

▪ All employees will be issued with a health and safety handbook.

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