There are 2 main definitions of save in English:

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save 1

Line breaks: save


[with object]
1Keep safe or rescue (someone or something) from harm or danger: they brought him in to help save the club from bankruptcy
More example sentences
  • The children's flick will feature Jackie as a pirate ghost who hobnobs with a little boy and his friends to save their town from danger.
  • Finally, we were saved by a rescue team and they were nice enough to give us a new motor.
  • My husband assures me that my moves will probably save me from any danger, so intimidating, he says, is the sight of me doing the African dance.
salvage, retrieve, reclaim, rescue
1.1Prevent (someone) from dying: the doctors did everything they could to save him
More example sentences
  • Jay meets Peaches when she saves a dying man involved in a traffic accident.
  • To save a dying person is his life's work, his obsession.
  • But why aren't they able to save every dying person?
1.2(In Christian use) preserve (a person’s soul) from damnation: church ladies approach me trying to save my soul
More example sentences
  • Whoever converts a sinner from error saves his soul from damnation.
  • The state of knowledge was not a priority when there were fundamental issues of church doctrine to be discussed and souls to be saved from the pernicious influence of Protestantism.
  • My favourite reactions I received were of the religious type, attempting to open my eyes to a Godly world and save my soul from damnation.
1.3Keep (someone) in health (used in exclamations and formulaic expressions): God save the Queen
2Keep and store up (something, especially money) for future use: she had never been able to save much from her salary [no object]: you can save up for retirement in a number of ways
More example sentences
  • By September 1889, debt-free and resolved to save money for the future, Boyle proposed marriage for the first time in his life.
  • If we had rented during those first five years of marriage, we would never have been able to save enough money to make that purchase.
  • It'd be cool to be able to save up for something nice, like a nice ride - something I could be proud of.
put aside, set aside, lay aside, put by, put to one side, lay by, keep, retain, reserve, keep in reserve, conserve, stockpile, store, hoard, save for a rainy day, keep for future use, put in a safe place;
collect, amass;
North American set by
2.1Avoid the need to use up or spend (money, time, or other resources): save £20 on a new camcorder [with two objects]: an efficient dishwasher would save them one year and three months at the sink
More example sentences
  • A spokesperson said that the policy would have little adverse financial effect, as it would save money otherwise spent on recruiting new staff.
  • But we could easily save money, diverting resources to more innovative management practices.
  • Not only it will save their time, it will also save money spent on hiring the bag-checkers.
economize, be (more) economical, make economies, scrimp, scrimp and scrape;
be thrifty, be frugal, tighten one's belt, cut back, make cutbacks, budget, retrench, husband one's resources, cut costs, cut expenditure, draw in one's horns, watch one's pennies;
North American pinch the pennies
black English rake and scrape
2.2Preserve (something) by not expending or using it: save your strength till later
More example sentences
  • He saves his arm strength and uses his horse's speed and power to inflict the deep wounds and deathblows.
  • I must agree in order to save the rest of my strength.
  • To save one's own strength, to defend oneself by sleight of body while drawing from one's opponent all his strength: this is the art of Ju-jitsu.
2.3 (in imperative save it) North American informal Stop talking: save it, Joey—I’m in big trouble now
3 Computing Keep (data) by moving a copy to a storage location: save the instructions to a new file
More example sentences
  • Client data would normally be saved onto corporate servers rather than desktops but the company is refusing to take any chances.
  • If you are trying to download some file, it will be automatically saved to your desktop.
  • Choose between bitmap or JPEG file formats when saving screenshots to the hard drive.
4Avoid, lessen, or guard against: this approach saves wear and tear on the books [with two objects]: the statement was made to save the government some embarrassment
More example sentences
  • Thousands of families would have been saved their tears, their sorrow and the grief they are experiencing this very moment.
  • It also saved her family the daily washing machine wear and tear, increased water use and the chore of washing and drying nappies regularly.
  • Little white lies could save someone's feelings and prevent them from having to face bitter truths.
prevent, obviate, forestall, spare;
avoid, avert;
make unnecessary, rule out
5Prevent an opponent from scoring (a goal or point) in a game or from winning (the game): the powerful German saved three match points
More example sentences
  • The story is told of a goalkeeper who kept waving to his girlfriend in the grandstand every time he saved a goal.
  • You'd be surprised how many points are saved and thrown away in the latter stage of the game.
  • The return of the rejuvenated opening bowlers quickly put paid to any lingering hopes the Cambridge side had of saving the game, removing two further batsmen.
5.1 Soccer (Of a goalkeeper) stop (a shot) from entering the goal.
Example sentences
  • The keeper dives, and the shot gets saved, or it drops into the back of the net, the fans sigh or groan on cue, and the game goes on.
  • But his shot was saved by the keeper.
  • McDonald did have a chance for Villa but his shot was well saved by keeper Hardy.
5.2 Baseball (Of a relief pitcher) preserve (a winning position) gained by another pitcher.


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1chiefly Soccer An act of preventing an opponent’s scoring: the keeper made a great save
More example sentences
  • The Brookes keeper performs an acrobatic save to keep Oxford off the score sheet in what was a disappointing game for the home team
  • Within 14 minutes third choice goalkeeper Mark Salter had not only made three tough saves but had also watched a near own goal by Anthony Doeh.
  • Goalkeeper Michele Gademans also played an important role, making four solid saves to shutout the other team and ensure the Clan a spot at the National Championships.
1.1 Baseball An instance of preserving a winning position gained by another pitcher.
Example sentences
  • Augsburg rallied in the 7th inning, but the Scots held firm thanks to a save from Cormac Seely.
2 Computing An act of saving data to a storage location.
Example sentences
  • Repeated saves and reloads in your editing package will produce the same image each time.
  • Game saves are saved to memory stick, and a 32MB stick is included with the console.
  • Librarians are pestered every day to explain why the student's saves to disc ‘do not work.’


Middle English: from Old French sauver, from late Latin salvare, from Latin salvus 'safe'. The noun dates from the late 19th century.

  • A medieval word that is based on Latin salvus ‘uninjured, safe’ ( see safety). The idea of saving someone's skin goes back to the late 16th century, a century before save someone's neck is recorded. See also bacon. A boxer in imminent danger of being knocked or counted out may be saved by the bell (mid 20th century) for the end of the round and be able to go back to his corner for a rest. Goalkeepers in soccer have saved shots since the 1880s, but before that the word was used in cricket when a fielder prevented a run being scored.


save one's breath

[often in imperative] Not bother to say something because it is pointless.
Example sentences
  • After months of writing to my elected officials I feel a whole lot better supporting this project and saving my breath.
  • You're better saving your breath for the wedding speech because right now I'm not listening to any of your words!
  • These worthy protesters could have saved their breath.

save the day (or situation)

Find or provide a solution to a difficulty or disaster.
Example sentences
  • Foreign students did indeed save the situation; they provided 15 per cent of university revenues.
  • And if someday your organization is in the midst of an expensive dispute, and you provide the piece of electronic evidence that saves the day - well, that's priceless.
  • A strong president, a good president, would put his country before his pride and throw himself into saving the situation even if it meant admitting previous mistakes and ditching past policies and advisors.

save face

see face.

save someone's face

see face.

save someone's life

Prevent someone dying by taking specific action: quick thinking undoubtedly saved the skipper’s life
(cannot do something to save one's life)5.1 Used to indicate that the person in question is completely incompetent at a particular activity or task: Adrian couldn’t draw to save his life
More example sentences
  • I can't swim to save my life, but I'm really good at floating
  • There's no question he is a looker, but he can't sing to save his life.

save someone's skin (or neck)

Rescue someone from danger or difficulty.
Example sentences
  • He could easily be stringing them a yarn, hoping to save his own neck.
  • Never before can we remember a Secretary of State standing up in the Commons to attack the employees of his own department in order to save his own neck.
  • They used every trick in the manual to portray him as a corporate fat cat who cared only about saving his skin.

save the tide

Nautical , archaic Get in and out of port while the tide lasts.

save someone the trouble (or bother)

Avoid involving someone in useless or pointless effort: write it down and save yourself the trouble of remembering
More example sentences
  • Other hotels (just a few though) are equipped with cinema rooms, saving you the trouble of getting out if you are too tired or if the unpredictable English weather is not at its best!
  • He took down the dossier, saving me the trouble of initiating a court action.
  • Letting it do the record-keeping saves you the trouble of entering information over and over again.



(also savable) adjective
Example sentences
  • Firefighters have to triage homes in a burning neighborhood to decide which homes are savable and which ones aren't.
  • The store has closed for good with the loss of nine jobs - despite staff having been reassured the chain was saveable.
  • "We can't give false hopes and promises but, of course the club is saveable."

Words that rhyme with save

behave, brave, Cave, clave, concave, crave, Dave, deprave, engrave, enslave, fave, forgave, gave, grave, knave, lave, Maeve, misbehave, misgave, nave, outbrave, pave, rave, shave, shortwave, slave, stave, they've, waive, wave

Definition of save in:

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There are 2 main definitions of save in English:

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save 2 Line breaks: save

preposition& conjunction

formal or literary
Except; other than: no one needed to know save herself the kitchen was empty save for Boris
More example sentences
  • The audience is seated in a theatre pitch black save the glow of six individual light boxes, each containing a fluoro rod, sitting on the floor of the stage.
  • But otherwise, what we say is subject to no regulation save our own sensibilities.
  • Raw materials and processes are simply drained of all value save monetary value.


Middle English: from Old French sauf, sauve, from Latin salvo, salva (ablative singular of salvus 'safe'), used in phrases such as salvo jure, salva innocentia 'with no violation of right or innocence'.

  • A medieval word that is based on Latin salvus ‘uninjured, safe’ ( see safety). The idea of saving someone's skin goes back to the late 16th century, a century before save someone's neck is recorded. See also bacon. A boxer in imminent danger of being knocked or counted out may be saved by the bell (mid 20th century) for the end of the round and be able to go back to his corner for a rest. Goalkeepers in soccer have saved shots since the 1880s, but before that the word was used in cricket when a fielder prevented a run being scored.

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