noun safe·keep·ing \ ˈsāf-ˈkē-piŋ \
|Updated on: 9 Jul 2018

Definition of safekeeping

1 : the act or process of preserving in safety
2 : the state of being preserved in safety

Examples of safekeeping in a Sentence

  1. His will is in safekeeping with his lawyer.

  2. while she was away on business, the single mom entrusted her daughter into her in-laws' safekeeping

Recent Examples of safekeeping from the Web

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

First Known Use of safekeeping

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
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Financial Definition of SAFEKEEPING


What It Is

Safekeeping is a term describing a financial institution's responsibility to keep clients' assets in a safe area.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe deposits $4,000 into his savings account at Bank XYZ. Bank XYZ has an obligation to keep John's $4,000 separate and apart from its own accounts that it uses to pay the bank employees and other expenses.

Similarly, John Doe's brokerage firm has a responsibility to keep the money in his account separate from the brokerage firm's own cash and house accounts.

Why It Matters

One of the fundamental purposes of the entire banking industry is safekeeping. That is, they provide people with a safe place to keep their money until they need it.

A safekeeping certificate is a document that proves that a person owns a security or a CD. American Depository Receipts (ADRs) are some of the most common forms of safekeeping certificates. Issued by U.S. banks, American Depository Receipts (ADRs) are certificates that represent shares of a foreign stock owned by the issuing bank. The foreign shares are usually held in custody overseas, but the certificates trade in the U.S. Through this system, a large number of foreign-based companies are actively traded on one of the three major U.S. equity markets (the NYSE, AMEX or Nasdaq).

SAFEKEEPING Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of safekeeping for English Language Learners

  • : the act of keeping something safe

  • : the state of being kept safe

SAFEKEEPING Defined for Kids


noun safe·keep·ing \ ˈsāf-ˈkē-piŋ \

Definition of safekeeping for Students

: the act of keeping safe : protection from danger or loss He gave me his watch for safekeeping while he went for a swim.

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to beat or defeat soundly

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