safety

noun
safe·ty | \ˈsāf-tē \
plural safeties

Definition of safety 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury, or loss

2 : a device (as on a weapon or a machine) designed to prevent inadvertent or hazardous operation

3a(1) : a situation in football in which a member of the offensive team is tackled behind its own goal line that counts two points for the defensive team — compare touchback

(2) : a member of a defensive backfield in football who occupies the deepest position in order to receive a kick, defend against a forward pass, or stop a ballcarrier

b : a billiard shot made with no attempt to score or so as to leave the balls in an unfavorable position for the opponent

c : base hit

safety

verb
safetied; safetying

Definition of safety (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to protect against failure, breakage, or accident safety a rifle

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for safety

Synonyms: Noun

protection, safeness, security

Antonyms: Noun

danger, distress, endangerment, imperilment, jeopardy, peril, trouble

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of safety in a Sentence

Noun

The changes were made in the interest of public safety. He made some suggestions about how to improve airline safety. I'm worried about the safety of the people who were left behind. We were reluctant to leave the relative safety of our hotel. She was only a mile from the safety of her home when the accident occurred. The car has been redesigned for improved safety. The toys are inspected for safety. They were led to safety by the rescuers. The injured hiker was finally able to reach safety.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Firefighters blocked the area for safety and notified FPL, according to the city. Juan Ortega, Sun-Sentinel.com, "FPL restores power to downtown Hollywood after damaged pole caused outage," 14 July 2018 Before hitting the Arizona's trails, consider these six tips for safety. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "GPS device leads rescue team to missing father, son in Coconino National Forest," 13 July 2018 Because smallpox no longer infects people, it was tested for safety in 359 volunteers, and tested for efficacy in animals infected with close cousins of smallpox. NBC News, "Now there's a drug to treat smallpox, just in case," 13 July 2018 The low beams are far too dim and sit too low for safety. Scott Sturgis, Philly.com, "2018 Stelvio rounds out the Alfa Romeo lineup," 12 July 2018 Detroit was ranked in 99th place for safety, also coming in a three-way tie with Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Oakland, California, for the city with the highest car-theft rate. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit ranked worst city to drive in," 10 July 2018 The activist group behind the banner, Rise and Resist, tweeted that the climber wasn’t connected to its demonstration and expressed concern for the climber’s safety. Mike James, USA TODAY, "Woman climbs base of the Statue of Liberty after ICE protest," 4 July 2018 Tourists are seen running for safety into a store across the street from the woman as the bear darted toward them. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "They went to see a movie, but the bear on the roof became the biggest star," 3 July 2018 As an advocate for the safety of schools, McClinton said different options exist to be explored. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Stratford student wants to make schools feel safe," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Beset with injury problems, Moyes has overcome them, as well as the negativity surrounding his appointment, to guide the Hammers to safety with two games to spare. SI.com, "Why Premier League Survival Should Herald a New Era of Optimism at West Ham Under David Moyes," 7 May 2018 Bills safety Micah Hyde thinks that one way to keep receivers safe should be to fine quarterbacks for helmet-to-helmet hits, according to ESPN. Jenna West, SI.com, "Bills' Micah Hyde Says Quarterbacks Should Be Fined For Helmet-to-Helmet Hits," 17 Apr. 2018 Jalen Harvey moved from wide receiver to safety this spring. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU football loses WR John Humphrey to Achilles injury," 22 Mar. 2018 Vaccaro can play either safety position and at 27 years old remains in the prime of his career. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "NFL free agency: Could Detroit Lions land Richard Sherman or Malcolm Butler?," 10 Mar. 2018 Bethel Search and Rescue member Tom Martini was one of the people who helped get the rest of the family to safety that night. Anna Rose Macarthur, Anchorage Daily News, "Bethel rescuer gave his coat to the hypothermic aunt and his boots to the little boy," 12 Jan. 2018 And that could help safety officials prioritize ways to intervene. Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, "D.C. crash-mapping gets boost from firm that can also help identify dangerous hotspots," 6 Oct. 2017 So could safety Derwin James — who missed last year’s game with an injury — on defense or special teams. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville football at Florida State: 3 keys and a prediction," 20 Oct. 2017 Is there a place that my boys could safety watch the construction trucks? Kevin Spear, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Surviving I-4: Punctured tires, busted windshields —'Oh lord, please'," 16 Oct. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of safety

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1916, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for safety

Noun

Middle English saufte, from Anglo-French salveté, saufté, from salf safe

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about safety

Statistics for safety

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for safety

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for safety

safety

noun

English Language Learners Definition of safety

: freedom from harm or danger : the state of being safe

: the state of not being dangerous or harmful

: a place that is free from harm or danger : a safe place

safety

noun
safe·ty | \ˈsāf-tē \

Kids Definition of safety

: freedom from danger or harm : the state of being safe

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on safety

What made you want to look up safety? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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