Meaning of SAFETY in English

safe ‧ ty S2 W2 /ˈseɪfti/ BrE AmE noun ( plural safeties )

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ safe , ↑ safety ; adverb : ↑ safely ; adjective : ↑ safe ≠ ↑ unsafe ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: sauveté , from sauf ; ⇨ ↑ safe 1 ]

1 . NOT IN DANGER [uncountable] when someone or something is safe from danger or harm

safety of

measures to improve the health and safety of employees

in safety

We were able to watch the lions in complete safety.

for safety

For safety, always climb with a partner.

You shouldn’t travel alone, for safety’s sake.

For your own safety, please do not smoke inside the plane.

2 . HARMFUL/NOT HARMFUL [uncountable] how safe something is to use, do etc

safety of

Campaigners have challenged the safety of genetically modified foods.

safety standards/regulations/precautions etc (=things that are done in order to make sure that something is safe)

The device meets safety standards.

Lower speed limits are part of a new road safety campaign.

3 . sb’s safety how safe someone is in a particular situation:

The boy had been missing for five days and there were fears for his safety.

4 . SAFE PLACE [uncountable] a place where you are safe from danger

safety of

30,000 people fled to the safety of the capital.

get/lead/drag etc somebody to safety

Firefighters led the children to safety.

They reached safety seconds before the bomb went off.

5 . there is safety in numbers used to say that it is safer to be in a group than alone

6 . SPORT [countable] a way of getting two points in American football by making the other team put the ball down in its own ↑ goal

7 . GUN [countable] American English a lock on a gun that stops anyone from shooting it by accident SYN safety catch British English

8 . safety harness/helmet/glasses etc equipment etc that keeps you safe when you are doing something dangerous

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1, 2 & 3)


▪ public safety

The police must put public safety first.

▪ personal safety

She didn’t seem to care about her own personal safety.

▪ road safety (=for people driving and walking on roads)

Extra lighting would improve road safety in this area.

▪ food safety (=how safe food is to eat)

New food safety laws say that sandwiches for sale in shops must be kept refrigerated.

■ safety + NOUN

▪ safety standards (=official rules designed to make something safe)

He claims safety standards on ferries are still not high enough.

▪ safety regulations (=rules designed to make something safe)

She was sold an electric fire that broke all the safety regulations.

▪ safety equipment

Your employer should provide the necessary safety equipment.

▪ a safety measure (=something that is done to make something safe)

New safety measures have been introduced after two horses died in last year’s race.

▪ a safety hazard (=something which may be dangerous)

The firing range is poorly designed and poses a significant safety hazard.

▪ a safety record (=figures showing how safe or unsafe something has been in the past)

The aircraft has a good safety record.

▪ health and safety (=things that are done to prevent people becoming ill or having accidents during an activity)

The Agency’s function is to promote health and safety at work.

■ verbs

▪ improve safety

New plans have been announced to improve safety on the railways.

▪ ensure/guarantee sb’s safety

There were few laws or regulations to ensure the safety of workers.

▪ fear for sb’s safety (=be afraid that they will not be safe)

They fear for the safety of relatives they have left behind.

■ phrases

▪ for your own safety

He had been kept in custody for his own safety.

▪ for safety reasons ( also for safety’s sake ) (=in order to make something safe)

For safety reasons visitors won’t be able to go down the tunnels.

▪ as a safety precaution (=in order to prevent accidents from happening, when this is possible but not very likely)

A fence was put around the lake as a safety precaution.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.