safe·​guard | \ ˈsāf-ˌgärd How to pronounce safeguard (audio) \

Definition of safeguard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2a : a precautionary measure, stipulation, or device
b : a technical contrivance to prevent accident


safeguarded; safeguarding; safeguards

Definition of safeguard (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to provide a safeguard for
2 : to make safe : protect

Synonyms & Antonyms for safeguard

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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: Noun Indeed, liberal democracy at its best can be a great safeguard of the freedom to create such art. New York Times, 17 Sep. 2021 In cases of actual abuse, the license DFPS has to seek out a child — to go to their school, to talk to them without their parents’ permission — is a necessary safeguard. Alex Morris, Rolling Stone, 21 Mar. 2022 Meanwhile, volunteer registration is an imperfect safeguard. Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2022 The water valve initiative is a safeguard that the distribution system’s valves are working correctly in case of a water main break potentially leading to a water shutdown, Mau explained. Daniel I. Dorfman,, 8 Mar. 2022 This can be an especially useful safeguard when visiting with someone who is immunocompromised or not yet eligible for boosters. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 23 Dec. 2021 The only safeguard is having a ‘two to sign’ agreement, so both of you authorize any withdrawals or payments, but in practice, this isn’t very practical and your partner may not agree to it. Susan Devaney, Vogue, 14 Feb. 2022 The budget reconciliation process, once a one-off safeguard, is now the dominant legislative process for tax policy. David Herzig, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021 So where’s the safeguard that can protect us against an assault on democracy by a bunch of crooks? John R. Macarthur, Harper’s Magazine , 7 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There are existing guidelines and assessments available for third-party healthcare organizations that, once completed, provide healthcare executives with confidence that partners will safeguard data. Brian Foy, Forbes, 3 May 2022 What better time than World Backup Day, March 31, to safeguard your files? Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, 31 Mar. 2022 The agency hasn’t explained the data breach, and it simply can’t be trusted to safeguard biometric data. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 In connection with end-to-end encryption, this helps safeguard your data. Chris Smith, BGR, 24 Jan. 2022 Nyhan noted that Democrats and centrists in Congress have three to six months to enact laws that would safeguard elections before the 2022 midterms, when the pro-Trump Republicans could potentially win control of the House. David Rohde, The New Yorker, 19 Jan. 2022 Up for debate is whether Boris Johnson’s government is genuine in its urgent desire to safeguard the public broadcaster, or momentarily deflecting from a political firestorm. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 18 Jan. 2022 Americans failed to safeguard decades of investments in Congo, essentially surrendering resources to China. New York Times, 21 Nov. 2021 Ostrowski said the responsibility not only lies with the worker but with the employer, which should be doing everything to safeguard its data and network even if a person’s personal device is compromised. Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of safeguard


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


1501, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for safeguard


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

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Time Traveler for safeguard

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near safeguard

safe-edge file



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Statistics for safeguard

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Safeguard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for safeguard


safe·​guard | \ ˈsāf-ˌgärd How to pronounce safeguard (audio) \

Kids Definition of safeguard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that protects and gives safety Drink water as a safeguard against dehydration.


safeguarded; safeguarding

Kids Definition of safeguard (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or keep safe or secure Refrigerating the food will safeguard it against spoilage.

More from Merriam-Webster on safeguard

Nglish: Translation of safeguard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of safeguard for Arabic Speakers


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