\ ˈsāf How to pronounce safe (audio) \
safer; safest

Definition of safe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : free from harm or risk : unhurt
2a : secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss
b : successful at getting to a base in baseball without being put out
3 : affording safety or security from danger, risk, or difficulty
4 obsolete, of mental or moral faculties : healthy, sound
5a : not threatening danger : harmless
b : unlikely to produce controversy or contradiction
6a : not likely to take risks : cautious



Definition of safe (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a place or receptacle to keep articles (such as valuables) safe

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Other Words from safe


safe or safely adverb
safeness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for safe


safe and secure mean free from danger. safe is used of freedom from a present danger. I felt safe as soon as I crossed the street. secure is used of freedom from a possible future danger or risk. The locks on the door made us feel secure.

Examples of safe in a Sentence

Adjective I don't feel safe in this neighborhood. The kids were safe in the cabin. We need to make sure that the children are safe and sound. “Is the money safe?” “Yes, it's in the bank.” a world made safe from war Is it safe to walk here? He wished us a safe trip. I found a safe place to take shelter from the storm. They live in a perfectly safe neighborhood. We watched the fireworks from a safe distance. Noun the hotel recommended that we keep all our valuables in its safe during our stay
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There is a risk factor to this; Cousins’ MO is safer. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings: Three keys to the game," 11 Jan. 2020 After that the overriding priority is to salvage Boeing by reassuring regulators, crews, airlines and passengers that a software fault that has led to the 737 MAX’s grounding is fixed, and the aircraft is safe to fly. The Economist, "Schumpeter The last GE Man," 11 Jan. 2020 An online instructional video shows how traffic will flow through the interchange once its reconfigured, and promotes the design as being safer than a typical lighted traffic signal. al, "Alabama ramps up public information blitz ahead of diverging diamond interchange opening," 11 Jan. 2020 While civilian air travel is considered to be very safe, there is a long history of civilian aircraft being accidentally shot down in times of conflict. Time, "The Iran Plane Crash Could Be the Latest in a Long History of Accidental Shoot-Downs," 10 Jan. 2020 The spray is formulated with bacteria that activate when in contact with ammonia crystals and is safe to use around kids. Jessica Migala, NBC News, "The 15 best dog and cat pet products for safety, health and fun," 10 Jan. 2020 Those who have received two measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations are safe from the disease. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "A college student in Boston was diagnosed with measles. Health officials say many people may have been exposed," 9 Jan. 2020 The ice caves were safe to visit in 2015 but haven't opened since then. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Top 10 Wisconsin weather events in last decade," 9 Jan. 2020 Not even the continent’s rainforests, which typically can resist the advance of a blaze, are safe from the firestorm. Matt Simon, Wired, "Wildfires Are Obliterating Australia's Iconic Ecosystems," 8 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun No two safes are the same, but assortments include slime, stickers, temporary tattoos and figurines. Taylor Telford, Anchorage Daily News, "Hot toys 2019: Star Wars, Hatchimals, Owleez and ‘Frozen’ offerings top holiday wish lists," 25 Nov. 2019 State Attorney General Steve Marshall said Williams had served for decades to keep the public safe, with the last nine of those years serving the residents of Lowndes County. Lateshia Beachum, Washington Post, "Teen arrested after fatal shooting of Alabama sheriff sparks statewide manhunt," 24 Nov. 2019 These checks are crucial to keeping the public safe from ride malfunctions like the one in 2017 at the Ohio State Fair, which killed one person and injured seven. William Langhorne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Inspectors check state fair rides for safety starting 10 days before opening; here's how the process works," 1 Aug. 2019 Once inside the business several small safes were taken from just inside of the door. Houston Chronicle, "Memorial Villages Police Department weekly report," 11 Nov. 2019 Instead of bemoaning new-fangled Americanisms, British observers could spare a thank you to the old colonies for keeping traditional English safe. The Economist, "How America saved old-fashioned English grammar," 17 Oct. 2019 The ne’er-do-wells, law enforcement officials told TMZ, escaped with two safes which contained at least $200,000 in cash and jewelry. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "JaVale McGee has Warriors championship ring stolen from L.A.-area home," 3 Sep. 2019 One photo attached to the report showed the combination to a safe listed on the safe itself. Author: Felicia Fonseca, Anchorage Daily News, "Elevated opioid risks found at Native American hospitals," 23 July 2019 Think of it like a cousin to peanut butter but one that's school-safe and free from the top eight allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat and soybeans. Alysha Witwicki, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Sunflower seed butter is an allergen-free answer to nut butters, for baking and more," 30 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'safe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of safe


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for safe


Middle English sauf, from Anglo-French salf, sauf, from Latin salvus safe, healthy; akin to Latin solidus solid, Greek holos whole, safe, Sanskrit sarva entire

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Time Traveler for safe

Time Traveler

The first known use of safe was in the 14th century

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Statistics for safe

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Safe.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/safe. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for safe

How to pronounce safe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of safe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not able or likely to be hurt or harmed in any way : not in danger
: not able or likely to be lost, taken away, or given away
: not involving or likely to involve danger, harm, or loss



English Language Learners Definition of safe (Entry 2 of 2)

: a strong metal box with a lock that is used to store money or valuable things
\ ˈsāf How to pronounce safe (audio) \
safer; safest

Kids Definition of safe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : free or secure from harm or danger I don't feel safe here.
2 : giving protection or security against harm or danger a safe neighborhood
3 : harmless safe drinking water
4 : unlikely to be wrong or cause disagreement a safe answer
5 : not likely to take risks : careful a safe driver
6 : successful in reaching a base in baseball

Other Words from safe

safely adverb



Kids Definition of safe (Entry 2 of 2)

: a metal box with a lock that is used for keeping something (as money) safe
\ ˈsāf How to pronounce safe (audio) \
safer; safest

Medical Definition of safe

: not causing harm or injury especially : having a low incidence of adverse reactions and significant side effects when adequate instructions for use are given and having a low potential for harm under conditions of widespread availability a list of drugs generally regarded as safe safe use in pregnancy has not been establishedEmergency Medicine

Other Words from safe

safety \ ˈsāf-​tē How to pronounce safety (audio) \ noun, plural safeties

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More from Merriam-Webster on safe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for safe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with safe

Spanish Central: Translation of safe

Nglish: Translation of safe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of safe for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about safe

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