safety

1 of 2

noun

safe·​ty ˈsāf-tē How to pronounce safety (audio)
plural safeties
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
3
a(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

safety

2 of 2

verb

safetied; safetying

transitive verb

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

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
Horton was an All-Pac-12 safety for the Bruins who was a quality control assistant under coach Jim Mora for two seasons. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 12 Feb. 2024 Catlin had more interests in athlete safety and preserving fair competition than in exposing cheaters. Les Carpenter, Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2024 The report says little about the safety of vaccines but states that communities that mandated lockdowns had higher rates of fatalities during the pandemic. Romy Ellenbogen, Miami Herald, 10 Feb. 2024 The Green Bay Packers safety recently returned home to Biles after his team's loss to the San Francisco 49ers during the Jan. 20 face-off. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2024 Seattle Seahawks — The Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos in a 43-8 drubbing, scoring a safety on the very first play of the game and going up 36-0 before Denver's first and only score. Jordan Freiman, CBS News, 10 Feb. 2024 Speeding toward Ward diagonally, Tyreek Hill lost the safety by breaking off his post route and veered back toward the sideline. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Feb. 2024 The United Nations has said that heavy fighting around the hospital had jeopardized the safety of medical workers and patients. Michael Levenson, New York Times, 9 Feb. 2024 When asked about the need for the amendment, the Texas Republican told Politico it is designed to ensure the safety of political VIPs when passing through public spaces in airports. Nicole Lopez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Feb. 2024
Verb
The boy can be seen falling to the ground while his desperate mother races to her child’s defense by picking him up and scooping him to safety inside the store. Michael Dorgan, Fox News, 10 Feb. 2024 The heroic man helped get Huber-Lucas to safety by pulling her through the car’s open sunroof moments before the vehicle sank. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 25 Jan. 2024 Barry, by the way, is named after a legendary St. Bernard who saved the lives of more than 40 people in the Swiss Alps in the early 1800s, including by carrying them to safety on his back. IEEE Spectrum, 15 Dec. 2023 That claim and her announcement that after 14 months of Musk’s ownership and deep cuts to trust and safety the company was now hiring new moderators raised the eyebrows of social platform experts and former Twitter employees. Vittoria Elliott, WIRED, 1 Feb. 2024 In a dramatic rescue caught on camera, a Coast Guard helicopter crew was able to get Leo to safety and reunited him with his owners. Christopher Brito, CBS News, 12 Jan. 2024 Rams safety Jordan Fuller intercepted a pass and returned it 18 yards — the first time this season the Rams had return yardage on a turnover. Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 30 Oct. 2023 As for her personal life, Samaria is currently dating Los Angeles Rams safety Jordan Fuller. Vandana Pawa, Peoplemag, 2 Aug. 2023 In a best-case scenario, the Rams in 2025 might find players in the sixth round who are comparable to safety Jordan Fuller and defensive backs Derion Kendrick and Quentin Lake, all sixth-round picks. Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'safety.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1916, in the meaning defined above

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

Cite this Entry

“Safety.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/safety. Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

safety

noun
safe·​ty
ˈsāf-tē
plural safeties
1
: the state or condition of being safe : freedom from hurt, injury, or loss
2
: a protective device (as on a pistol) to prevent accidental operation
3
a
: a score of two points for the defensive team in football when an offensive ballcarrier is tackled behind the offensive team's goal line
b
: a defensive football player whose position is far back from the line of scrimmage

More from Merriam-Webster on safety

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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