\ 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
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

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 As coronavirus has spread throughout the country, there have been concerns the virus could sweep through the nation's homeless population, many of whom have chronic health conditions and lack safe places to quarantine themselves. Fox News, "Hundreds of homeless test positive for coronavirus in Denver, shelter workers also sickened," 3 May 2020 Garza and a group of volunteers started USLA in 2014, inspired to help inner-city kids have a safe place to play after school and in the summer. Brad Wolverton, USA TODAY, "Innovative partnership helps Jefferson High School soccer team combat cycle of poverty," 1 May 2020 Brands may be , but ’s global fashion director Carine Roitfeld found a safe place to produce a fashion show amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: online. Alison S. Cohn, Harper's BAZAAR, "You’re Invited to Carine Roitfeld’s Star-studded Virtual Fashion Show This Friday," 1 May 2020 Therefore, soap is the safest for fabrics and leather seats. USA Today, "Coronavirus: How to safely clean your car's interior from COVID-19," 1 May 2020 Social bee colonies can contain thousands of bees, each performing a different task to keep the colony healthy and safe. Lila Westreich, The Conversation, "Spring signals female bees to lay the next generation of pollinators," 1 May 2020 But the safest and best place to get your hair cut is in a barbershop. Christopher Harress | Charress@al.com, al, "Alabama barbers angry after new coronavirus order leaves them closed: ‘This is an atrocity'," 29 Apr. 2020 Without a safe place for kids, many parents would have difficulty returning to work. Time, "President Trump: States Should ‘Seriously Consider’ Reopening Schools," 28 Apr. 2020 Staying indoors may make someone less likely to contract Covid-19, but for many people, home is not a safe place. Sidney Fussell, Wired, "The Pandemic Creates New Challenges for Crisis Counselors," 28 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Given the difficult balancing act of keeping the public safe and the need to reopen the economy, trust in the messaging coming from government is more crucial now than ever. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "What Donald Trump can learn from Boris Johnson as coronavirus cases are found in White House," 11 May 2020 This means food safety procedures are paramount to keeping the public safe. Todd Haugh, The Conversation, "Coronavirus impact: Meat processing plants weigh risks of prosecution if they’re blamed for spreading infection," 27 Apr. 2020 While federal health authorities have debated the best ways to keep the public safe, companies have been left to devise their own policies. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Working at a grocery store is now a hazardous occupation," 18 Apr. 2020 The search warrant authorized the police to search Taylor's apartment, two vehicles, and three persons, including Taylor, and to seize, among other things, drugs and drug paraphernalia, money, safes, weapons, documents, and computers. Kay Jones. Carma Hassan And Leah Asmelash, CNN, "A Kentucky EMT was shot and killed during a police raid of her home. The family is suing for wrongful death," 13 May 2020 Our photojournalists are still on the streets every day, but are using common sense and practicing social distancing when documenting stories to keep themselves and the public safe. Peter Bhatia, Detroit Free Press, "How to help the Free Press be on guard for another 189 years," 5 May 2020 All to rob a safe that turned up empty, the sergeant said. Washington Post, "Virginia city addressing young teens in effort to slow crime," 15 Mar. 2020 The gray fiberglass boxes blend into the scenery at the northwest corner of 7th Avenue and G Street — akin to a pair of big safes turned on their sides. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage couple launches locker company to protect bikes," 16 Feb. 2020 The union representing 80,000 supermarket and factory workers in Ohio is urging Gov. Mike DeWine to further limit the number of shoppers allowed in grocery stores to keep employees and the public safe amid the new coronavirus outbreak. Alexander Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "Coronavirus: Kroger union to Gov. DeWine - let fewer shoppers in stores, slow factories," 16 Apr. 2020

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

6 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Safe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/safe. Accessed 4 Jun. 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

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.

\ 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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