\ 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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Plus, the advice given to estranged parents often does not take into consideration the logistics of starting over, and how vital planning is so our children can relax and feel safe in both homes. Tribune News Service, al, 3 Aug. 2022 What do athletic trainers recommend for keeping athletes safe in the heat, particularly in those first weeks? Susan Yeargin, The Conversation, 1 Aug. 2022 Keeping Ressa safe is one of the reasons she’s being recognized again in September by George and Amal Clooney’s Foundation for Justice. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, 1 Aug. 2022 What do athletic trainers recommend for keeping athletes safe in the heat, particularly in those first weeks? Susan Yeargin, Chron, 1 Aug. 2022 Once in the program, the focus is on supporting the girls, on attending school and keeping them safe, bringing in legal protection when necessary. Stefene Russell, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 July 2022 But even more challenging than keeping people physically safe was grappling with the mental toll that the virus took on cast and crew. Inkoo Kang, Washington Post, 25 July 2022 Those projects, essential to keeping John safe, will cost more than $15,000 out of pocket. Taylor Hartz, Hartford Courant, 23 July 2022 Sprouse indeed delivered, keeping the bag of burgers safe under his seat during the show. Jessica Sager,, 22 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The group of servicemen pulled all eight individuals out of the water and within 15 minutes had them back to the base safe. Fox News, 15 July 2022 Among the book's gems: There was that time thieves broke into his London atelier and made off with not just the entire safe, but even the guard dog. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 17 June 2022 The last piece of the puzzle was locked inside a safe. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 8 June 2022 Instead, the investigators stored the laptop in a supervisor’s office, in a special safe that had been certified to hold Top Secret documents—even though anyone could go to the Internet to see the materials that were on it. Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 In that safe was a handgun and the woman’s boyfriend’s Social Security card, bank book and passport. cleveland, 21 Jan. 2022 Plus, after the fun of building, kids can use the safe to store their prized possessions. Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping, 25 Apr. 2022 Hexbug Kids can build their own safe with this kit, which comes with a customizable dial lock and dual bolts. Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping, 25 Apr. 2022 Burglars had broken through a glass door at the back of the home sometime between 5:30 and 10:30 p.m. and made off with gold jewelry and a large safe. Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best home safes.

Learn More About safe

Time Traveler for safe

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near safe




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for safe

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Safe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for safe


\ 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 established Emergency Medicine

Other Words from safe

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

More from Merriam-Webster on safe

Nglish: Translation of safe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of safe for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about safe


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!