Meaning of SAFE in English


I. ˈsāf adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English sauf, saf, save, from Old French salf, sauf, saf, sal, from Latin salvus safe, whole healthy; akin to Latin salus health, safety, salubris healthful, salutary, solidus solid, Greek holos complete, entire, Sanskrit sarva unharmed, entire

1. : freed from harm, injury, or risk : no longer threatened by danger or injury : unharmed , unhurt

the rocks were to windward on our quarter, and we were safe — Frederick Marryat

2. : secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss: as

a. : not exposed to danger

the bullfighters had been developing a technique which simulated this apperance of danger … while the bullfighter was really safe — Ernest Hemingway

the trees have grown tall enough to be safe from trampling — American Guide Series: Louisiana


(1) : successful in reaching base

the batter was safe at first on a close play

(2) : enabling a batter in baseball to reach base

a safe hit to deep short

c. : secure from loss to the opposition in an election

if a poll shows that a state or district is safe , there may be no reason for spending money … for … party propaganda — D.D.McKean

d. : not liable to decipherment

a safe code

3. : affording protection from danger : securing from harm

a safe margin of national revenue must be kept for possible defense needs — Current Biography

a safe haven

4. obsolete , of mental or moral faculties : healthy , sound

are his wits safe — Shakespeare



(1) : not threatening danger : harmless

other animals … instinctively realize when a party of lions may be regarded as safe — James Stevenson-Hamilton

(2) archaic : made incapable of doing harm (as by being placed in confinement or under custody)

b. : unlikely to produce controversy or contradiction

the safe , sane, and sanitary cliché — S.H.Adams

it is safer to generalize about institutions than individuals — Harry Levin

c. : free from contaminating qualities : not liable to corrupt or injure

a safe vaccine

a safe book for young people

d. of a part of a file : left without teeth so that only one surface of an object is cut when filing near a corner or in a narrow slot


a. : not liable to take risks : cautious

the safe man usually has been preferred to the audacious — C.E.Silcox

b. : of known and reliable opinions and actions

a safe man, unlikely to give trouble — Osbert Sitwell


secure: safe can imply that one has run a risk without incurring harm or damage

to arrive home safe after a rough trip

to see the children safe in bed

or can apply to persons or possessions whose situation or position involves no risk

a safe place to live

remain safe in an air raid shelter all night

or to such things as bridges, vehicles, or policies so designed or constructed that they expose one to no risk

a bridge not safe for heavy trucks

a safe political position

secure , sometimes interchangeable with safe , usually implies freedom from anxiety or apprehension of danger and often freedom from all hazards, or it can apply to something conducive to such a frame of mind or such freedom

feel secure only among close friends

a secure harbor

a good bank account often can help make one secure

make your investments secure

a secure place for himself in the academic world

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English saue, from sauf, saf, adjective

1. : a place or receptacle to keep articles safe: as

a. : a ventilated or refrigerated chest or closet for securing provisions from pests and the effects of weather

b. : a metal box or chest sometimes built into a wall or vault to protect money or other valuables against fire or burglary

2. : a tray under a fixture (a a bath or roof tank) to catch drippings or overflow

3. : condom

III. adverb

( -er/-est )

Etymology: safe (I)

: safely , securely

play safe

hit safe

land me safe on Canaan's side — William Williams †1791

— often used in combination

safe -hidden

safe -moored

IV. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: safe (I)

obsolete : to make safe

V. ˈsāf


variant of save

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.