/sayf"tee/ , n. , pl. safeties .
1. the state of being safe; freedom from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss.
2. the quality of averting or not causing injury, danger, or loss.
3. a contrivance or device to prevent injury or avert danger.
4. Also called lock, safety catch, safety lock . a locking or cutoff device that prevents a gun from being fired accidentally.
5. the action of keeping safe.
a. an act or play in which a player on the offensive team is tackled in his own end zone or downs the ball there, or in which the ball goes out of bounds on a fumble, having last been in bounds in or over the end zone and having last been in the possession of an offensive player. Cf. touchback .
b. an award of two points to the opposing team on this play.
c. Also called safety man . a player on defense who lines up farthest behind the line of scrimmage.
7. Baseball. a base hit, esp. a one-base hit.
8. Slang. a condom.
9. Obs. close confinement or custody.
[ 1250-1300; ME sauvete 2 ]