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

The hospital has been plagued by problems for years and was repeatedly cited for health and safety violations, including escapes by violent patients. Martha Bellisle, The Seattle Times, "Nurse who lost part of ear in patient assault sues state," 8 Nov. 2018 Montague is working hard to expand the government's access to personal data in the name of safety, and is often accused of fomenting fear to achieve her ends. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Hit U.K. Show Bodyguard Is Now on Netflix," 26 Oct. 2018 But this could be one of them: A new feature on the personal-safety app Noonlight aims to help victims of car crashes and other accidents by automatically alerting emergency services the moment an accident happens, The Washington Post reported. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "The Noonlight App Calls 911 When It Detects You’ve Been in an Accident," 2 Oct. 2018 Amid officials' warnings for residents in Hurricane Florence's path to evacuate immediately, companies like U-Haul and Airbnb are working to make safety a priority for everyone, especially those in mandatory evacuation zones. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Airbnb Offers Free Accommodations For Emergency Workers And Evacuees Fleeing Hurricane Florence," 13 Sep. 2018 Seriously, that brand has to have the most fire-safety-savvy drag prevention team in the digital mall. Sable Yong, Allure, "How Glossier’s New Perfecting Skin Tint Formula Compares to the Original," 11 Sep. 2018 Babies can start at 6 months; adults should take water-safety training and CPR classes. Jonathan Small, Good Housekeeping, "My Family Almost Drowned. Then, 50 Strangers Stepped In and Saved Us.," 16 July 2018 The suit contends the team and the city were negligent for not putting up safety netting to protect spectators. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "Spectator Sues Bristol Blues Over Injury From Broken Bat," 14 July 2018 There are two kinds of people in this world: those who enjoy outside exposure, and those who prefer the safety and comfort of their four-walled bedrooms. Alana Massey, SELF, "39 Gift Ideas for People Who'd Always Rather Be Sleeping," 13 Nov. 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

6 Dec 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

amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!