1 of 2


safe·​guard ˈsāf-ˌgärd How to pronounce safeguard (audio)
: a precautionary measure, stipulation, or device
: a technical contrivance to prevent accident


2 of 2


safeguarded; safeguarding; safeguards

transitive verb

: to provide a safeguard for
: to make safe : protect
Choose the Right Synonym for safeguard

defend, protect, shield, guard, safeguard mean to keep secure from danger or against attack.

defend denotes warding off actual or threatened attack.

defend the country

protect implies the use of something (such as a covering) as a bar to the admission or impact of what may attack or injure.

a hard hat to protect your head

shield suggests protective intervention in imminent danger or actual attack.

shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand

guard implies protecting with vigilance and force against expected danger.

White House entrances are well guarded

safeguard implies taking precautionary protective measures against merely possible danger.

our civil liberties must be safeguarded

Examples of safeguard in a Sentence

Noun The new law has safeguards to protect the rights of citizens. There are many safeguards built into the system to prevent fraud. Verb laws that safeguard the rights of citizens You need to safeguard your computer against viruses. There are steps you can take to safeguard against identity theft.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adults who keep secrets with other people’s children violate commonsense safeguards of minors and must be stopped. The Editors, National Review, 5 Sep. 2023 New Balance Women's Fresh Foam X Hierro Mid These New Balance trail running shoes have a breathable mesh upper so your feet don’t overheat, and the toe protection safeguards against stones and debris on the trail. Karthika Gupta, Travel + Leisure, 30 Aug. 2023 For centuries, blasphemy laws were viewed by religious and civil leaders as safeguards for keeping society orderly and strengthening religious rules and influence. Armin Langer, The Conversation, 29 Aug. 2023 Government agencies must build in safeguards to avoid graft. Time, 23 Aug. 2023 Washington should also push Riyadh for greater transparency on its emerging relationship with Beijing and demand tight security safeguards for any arms or technology the United States transfers to Saudi Arabia. Daniel C. Kurtzer, Foreign Affairs, 21 Aug. 2023 In the wake of that attack, the Defense Department instituted a series of recruiting safeguards. Hanna Krueger,, 16 Aug. 2023 The work stoppage over issues including streaming residuals and stricter safeguards against the use of artificial intelligence has shuttered all late-night talk shows for the longest stretch in modern history. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 25 Aug. 2023 Lauren Rounds, a spokeswoman at Love Field, said the airport’s simple layout, thorough training protocols and safeguards like runway guard lights, have helped minimize runway incursions in recent years. Alexandra Skores, Dallas News, 24 Aug. 2023
Rising temperatures in key agricultural regions across the United States are leading more farmers to harvest in the middle of the night to safeguard the quality of their crops. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2023 State’s attorney spokesman James Bentley added that because any questioning of underage defendants has to be recorded, their rights already are safeguarded. Lee O. Sanderlin, Baltimore Sun, 5 Sep. 2023 My goal is to have a positive impact by fostering fairness and dignity for all court attendees while safeguarding the community. Beth Mlady, cleveland, 3 Sep. 2023 Improving the Covid-19 vaccine uptake continues to be a critical line of defense against the virus, but safeguarding all Americans from Covid will require more than a vaccine-only approach. Irasema Garza, STAT, 31 Aug. 2023 In the ensuing weeks, companies including Microsoft took legal and technical action to disrupt Trickbot’s networks as part of efforts to safeguard voting and other critical infrastructure. Matt Burgess, WIRED, 30 Aug. 2023 Exploring various materials and configurations to create robust shielding solutions is key to ensuring that astronauts’ long-term health is safeguarded during their stay on the Moon. Massimo Comparini, Fortune, 30 Aug. 2023 Countries should work to safeguard a clean, healthy and sustainable environment for children around the world as climate change becomes a growing issue, the U.N. said. Teddy Grant, ABC News, 28 Aug. 2023 While a shot has yet to be fired, some of the nation’s largest newsrooms are actively taking defensive measures to safeguard their content from ChatGPT, the groundbreaking artificial intelligence chatbot that is seen as a potential aggressor to an already struggling news industry. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English saufgarde, from Anglo-French, from sauf safe + garde guard

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1501, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of safeguard was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near safeguard

Cite this Entry

“Safeguard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
safe·​guard ˈsāf-ˌgärd How to pronounce safeguard (audio)
: something that protects and gives safety : defense


2 of 2 verb
: to make safe or secure : protect

More from Merriam-Webster on safeguard

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