Definition of safety in English:


Line breaks: safety
Pronunciation: /ˈseɪfti

noun (plural safeties)

  • 1 [mass noun] The condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury: they should leave for their own safety the survivors were airlifted to safety
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    • After the inspection, the premises were voluntarily closed for two weeks, until officers were satisfied there was no longer a risk to food safety.
    • The case against Sellafield usually centres upon the risk to health and safety posed by the dumping of nuclear waste into the Irish Sea.
    • Steinbach veterinarian Doug Bazinet said the risk from BSE to human health and food safety is very low.
    welfare, well-being, protection, securityharmlessness, lack of side effects
  • 1.1 [as modifier] Denoting something designed to prevent injury or damage: a safety barrier a safety helmet
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    • Reports indicate that safety rails designed to prevent falls from the platform had been removed.
    • There were also damaged safety barriers and walkways.
    • Many of these fatalities and injuries could have been prevented if proper safety precautions were taken.
  • 1.2 [count noun] North American short for safety catch.
    More example sentences
    • It can be fired single or double-action, and has an automatic safety that blocks the firing pin until the trigger is pulled.
    • Like all Glocks, the G37 has three safeties: a trigger safety, firing pin safety and drop safety.
    • Glock fans would be tempted to compare it to the thingy that sticks out of the Glock trigger that they call a trigger safety.
  • 2 American Football A defensive back who plays in a deep position.
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    • Moss' presence also helps the running game because defenses often keep safeties deep to account for him.
    • Their speed will force defenses to use their safeties deeper to help the corners.
    • The team almost certainly will take a safety with one of its first draft picks and will need to find some depth at corner in free agency.
  • 2.1A play in which the ball is downed by the offence in their own end zone, scoring two points to the defence.
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    • If she has played a safety on her trouble ball, she would have won.
    • All they need to do is to put the ball at the back of the net and their safety will be secured.
    • Asi Faoa blocked the ensuing punt in the end zone for a UCLA safety.
  • 3US informal A condom.


safety first

Used to advise caution.
More example sentences
  • While they have not criticised the actions of the woman in fending off the attacker, police advise the public to always think about safety first.
  • Londesbrough Park had by far the better of a draw against a cautious Sheriff Hutton Bridge side who opted for safety first.
  • It's time for mothers to slow down and put safety first.

there's safety in numbers

proverb Being in a group of people makes you feel more confident or secure about taking action.
More example sentences
  • As ritual has it, dozens of fearless souls - knowing that there's safety in numbers - overcome their jittery apprehensions and descend to the place where Gallagher was murdered.
  • Gee, if the Iraqis have figured out there's safety in numbers, security may turn out to be a problem…
  • As touring acts have demonstrated of late, there's safety in numbers.


Middle English: from Old French sauvete, from medieval Latin salvitas, from Latin salvus 'safe'.

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