play it safe


: to be careful and avoid risk or danger
I decided to play it safe and leave early so that I would be sure to arrive on time.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Many of them come from frost-free tropical regions of the world, so play it safe and make plans to protect them whenever temperatures dip below 40˚F. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Sep. 2022 On the other hand, those with underlying health conditions or who have concerns about long-haul symptoms are still trying to play it safe. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, 13 July 2022 Half the golfers play it safe, while the others risk playing over the pines and water. Globe Staff,, 10 June 2022 The first time period (the 1980s-1990s) allowed most Western family offices to play it safe in rapidly globalizing blue chips and government bonds, while emerging market family offices saw their wealth swell as rapid economic growth took hold. Radu Magdin, Forbes, 8 June 2022 Barnes stayed put though, unsure if the ball was going to bounce off the wall and electing to play it safe with only one out. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2022 Or just play it safe by snagging another Oregon product, DE Kayvon Thibodeaux in this case? Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 24 Nov. 2021 Expect Hochul to play it safe on spending while using her strong hand in the state’s budget process to score signature progressive policy wins to head off potential primary rivals such as Williams. Alyssa Katz, The New Republic, 24 Aug. 2021 The majority of starters from both teams will probably see very limited action (or none at all) as coaches usually tend to play it safe in the preseason. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 13 Aug. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'play it safe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near play it safe

Cite this Entry

“Play it safe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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