Meaning of SAFETY in English

I. ˈsāftē, -ti sometimes ÷-fəd.- or ÷-fət- noun

( -es )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English sauvete, saufte, safte, from Middle French salveté, sauveté, from Old French, from salve, sauve (feminine of salf, sauf safe) + -té -ty — more at safe

1. : the condition of being safe : freedom from exposure to danger : exemption from hurt, injury, or loss

the only safety against being deceived lies in … refusal to bear arms — W.R.Inge

ferried in safety across the river

2. obsolete : custody

hold him in safety till the prince come hither — Shakespeare


a. archaic : a means of protection : safeguard


(1) : a locking or interrupting device on a military apparatus (as a mine, missile, weapon) that prevents it from being fired accidentally

(2) : the condition of a firearm when the safety is in action

to carry a piece at safety

c. : a device (as an elevator cable break or a drop hammer trip) applied to equipment to reduce hazard from component failure or personal contact

d. : condom


a. : the quality or state of not presenting risks : safeness

people have a tendency to choose the safety of the middle-ground reply — S.L.Payne

the captain of an airplane was held responsible for the … safety of his ship — E.K.Gann

b. : the quality or state of being financially secure

safety of principal

5. : knowledge of or skill in methods of avoiding accident or disease

an expert in traffic safety

6. : any of several plays in various sports:

a. : a billiard shot made with no attempt to score and intended to leave the balls in an unfavorable position for the opponent


(1) : a football play in which the ball is downed by the offensive team behind its own goal line

(2) : a score made by a safety that counts two points for the opposing team — compare touchback

c. : base hit

d. : the act of hitting the ball across the back line and not between the goal posts by one of the defending side in a polo match

7. : a member of a defensive backfield in football who occupies the deepest position in order to receive a kick or defend against a pass made by the opposing team or to stop a ballcarrier who has broken away

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

: to protect against failure, breakage, or other accident: as

a. : to secure (a nut on an airplane) against loosening by vibration

b. : to engage the safety of (a weapon)

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