Share this entry

Share this page

safe

Line breaks: safe
Pronunciation: /seɪf
 
/

Definition of safe in English:

adjective

1 [predicative] Protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost: eggs remain in the damp sand, safe from marine predators she felt safe with him
More example sentences
  • I hope and pray that the friends and family who mean so much to Sherry have survived and are safe from harm.
  • At least here, they are safe from the dangers of everyday life in the worst of areas.
  • Now safe from harm, he and his parents continued their journey and when they arrived in Timnah the lovers looked at each other and were pleased.
Synonyms
protected from harm/danger, shielded, sheltered, guarded, defended, secure, safe and sound, out of harm's way, all right
2Not likely to cause or lead to harm or injury; not involving danger or risk: we have to cross the river where it’s safe for us to do so a safe investment that produced regular income
More example sentences
  • With two out of every three deaths in Iraq caused by diarrhoea and respiratory infections, a safe supply of clean water is crucial to child survival.
  • Because of this we decide that the water was safe enough to clean up in and drink.
  • Fact: the vast majority of Scotland's coastal waters are clean and safe for bathing.
Synonyms
secure, sound, risk-free, riskless, impregnable, unassailable, invulnerable
harmless, innocuous, non-toxic, non-poisonous, non-irritant, benign, wholesome, mild
2.1(Of a place) affording security or protection: put it in a safe place
More example sentences
  • They say they chose the location for its outstanding beauty and the fact that it affords a safe place for their children to play.
  • A civil order status, on the other hand, would imply that the area was safe, with security affairs controlled by the police.
  • You see, Margo, most people want a job, house mortgage rates they can afford, a safe environment for their children.
3often derogatory Cautious and unenterprising: MacGregor would be a compromise, the safe choice
More example sentences
  • That's a safe choice for a conservative offense, but it doesn't mean Peete will last the season in that role.
  • Mr. Nebbish seems like the perfect, safe choice if you've been smacked around by relationships.
  • So many cars are now painted silver that it has become the vanilla of colours, but it's still a safe choice.
Synonyms
cautious, circumspect, prudent, chary, attentive;
informal leery
4Based on good reasons or evidence and not likely to be proved wrong: the verdict is safe and satisfactory his world, it’s safe to say, will not fall apart
More example sentences
  • The Crown in that case submitted that the confessions were rightly admitted and that the convictions were safe and satisfactory.
  • For all these reasons, we consider that the jury's verdict in respect of this appellant was safe, and that her appeal must be dismissed.
  • This appellant's convictions are safe, and his appeal against conviction is dismissed.
5Uninjured; with no harm done: they had returned safe and sound hopes of her safe return later faded
More example sentences
  • Civilian employers are concerned about your welfare and want you to return home safe and sound.
  • Fortunately the missing person turned up, safe and sound, and the boat returned to its station.
  • There is still time to hand in photographs all of which will be returned safely to their owners safe and sound.
Synonyms
6 informal Excellent (used to express approval or enthusiasm): that shirt is real safe

noun

Back to top  
1A strong fireproof cabinet with a complex lock, used for the storage of valuables.
Example sentences
  • Another successful selling point Abrams uses is the discounts many insurance companies give to customers who purchase fireproof safes for their valuables.
  • Personakey's Touch Open locking storage cases and safes are nothing short of amazing.
  • But not so lucky were files, plans and tapes stored in a fireproof cabinet and safe in Manhattan.
Synonyms
strongbox, safety-deposit box, safe-deposit box, coffer, casket, money chest, cash box, repository, depository, locker;
2North American informal A condom.
Example sentences
  • According to the ad, ‘Julius Schmind would like to give you some straight talk about condoms, rubbers, sheaths, safes, French letters, storkstoppers.’

Origin

Middle English (as an adjective): from Old French sauf, from Latin salvus 'uninjured'. The noun is from the verb save1, later assimilated to the adjectival form.

Phrases

as safe as houses

1
see house.

in safe hands

2
see hand.

safe in the knowledge that

3
Confident because of the specified fact: they used to recruit hundreds a year, safe in the knowledge that many would leave
More example sentences
  • With boosted confidence and safe in the knowledge that people do in fact want to see traditional shows with farm animals, the organisers can now plan ahead for next year.
  • They were prepared to sign up to a framework agreement safe in the knowledge that there will be plenty of chances over the coming weeks, months and probably years to carry on haggling.
  • I leave Black Rock Desert safe in the knowledge that there is still a place where, for one week at least, you can escape mundanity and soar into the world of your own imagination.

a safe pair of hands

4
see hand.

to be on the safe side

5
In order to have a margin of security against risks: to be on the safe side, she had recorded everything
More example sentences
  • And so he said in order to be on the safe side, you need to bring in all your own supplies.
  • In order for one to be on the safe side, you should prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
  • It was just warm enough to sit outside, but to be on the safe side Ann ordered vegetable soup with a large buttered bap.

Derivatives

safely

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • Since Mom's still flat on her back in hospital, we can safely deduce she's not to blame.
  • One day someone who does not know how to tie a load properly will not get home safely.
  • So the setting of interest rates appears to remain safely out of the hands of politicians.

safeness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • Tracks like ‘Love steals us from loneliness’ may be over-calculated, but their safeness means they are entirely inoffensive and even enjoyable in spurts.
  • And so to err on the side of safeness, my press and I nixed the vast majority of ‘in limbo ‘s.’
  • Despite the safeness of so many seats, public officials still spend half their time fund raising - in case they either run for re-election or for another office, or perhaps to help out a friend in the next election.

Definition of safe in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?