safety

noun
safe·​ty | \ ˈsāf-tē How to pronounce safety (audio) \
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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for safety

Synonyms: Noun

protection, safeness, security

Antonyms: Noun

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For the safety of Prince Harry and his British Army troop, all British broadcasters and print publications consented to a media blackout during the royal's tour in Afghanistan. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How Prince Harry Served in Afghanistan in Secret—Despite the Notoriously Cutthroat U.K. Press," 19 Apr. 2019 Advertising Oppenheimer says unlicensed operators often pose much greater risk to the health and safety of children. Hayley Harding, The Seattle Times, "Looking for the perfect child care? Join the waiting list.," 13 Apr. 2019 Jesus, who is HIV positive, left his home in Venezuela in 2017 for fear of his health and safety as a gay man. Elaine Murphy, Teen Vogue, "What Really Happens Inside American Immigration Facilities and Detention Centers," 14 Jan. 2019 Chris Wood may well have secured another season in the top flight for Burnley by scoring both goals in a 2-0 home win over Cardiff, a result that leaves the Welsh club five points from safety in 18th place. Mattias Karen, The Seattle Times, "United stays in hunt for top 4, Cardiff close to relegation," 13 Apr. 2019 One concerned fan even had Carrie's safety at heart. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Carrie Underwood's Casual ACMs Performance Is Receiving a Lot of Mixed Reactions," 8 Apr. 2019 But there was no magical line that a black traveler could cross to find safety on the other side. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Green Book builds a feel-good comedy atop an artifact of shameful segregation. Yikes.," 7 Jan. 2019 The dollar rose against its peers, as investors sought safety amid worries of a global economic slowdown . Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "Dollar Higher on Haven Buying," 28 Mar. 2019 There could be more rigorous work on prescription heroin sites’ community-level impacts, such as on public safety or broader drug use. German Lopez, Vox, "A big, new review of the evidence finds that prescription heroin works," 6 Dec. 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.

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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

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Statistics for safety

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for safety

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

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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 How to pronounce safety (audio) \

Kids Definition of safety

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

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Comments on safety

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