safety net


Definition of safety net 

: something that provides security against misfortune or difficulty

Examples of safety net in a Sentence

The program provides a safety net for people who have lost their jobs.

Recent Examples on the Web

Currently, the safety netting offers protection to fans sitting behind home plate. Gregory Tejeda, Post-Tribune, "Gary OKs new pump, netting for RailCats ballpark," 7 June 2018 Emergency departments are the healthcare safety net of our communities, the only place where everyone can receive care regardless of their condition or insurance coverage. Erik J. Blutinger,, "An E.R. doctor on 'surprise billing' for emergency care," 5 June 2018 Keep pushing for birth control access and social safety nets. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "Today Is the 45th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade—Here's What You Can Do to Support Reproductive Rights," 22 Jan. 2018 What remains unclear is whether the flurry of activity will have a long-term effect on the trajectory of federal spending and the management of safety net programs. New York Times, "Behind Trump’s Plan to Overhaul the Government: Scaling Back the Safety Net," 21 June 2018 During the 1990s, racial animus, especially the notion that lazy blacks were crowding the welfare rolls, was shown to be especially powerful in shaping attitudes to the safety net. The Economist, "The safety net in Republican states is about to get skimpier," 18 Jan. 2018 There is growing debate over the idea that governments should provide citizens with a safety net to cover life’s necessities. Jason Bellini, WSJ, "Universal Basic Income: Two Contrasting Views on Free Money," 16 Mar. 2018 Hatton, Soldan, and their other anguished parent friends are constantly juggling jobs, kids, and all the frenetic craziness of parenting with no social safety net. Maria Panaritis,, "Pa. suburban parents are in a child-care bind. What it says about society is not pretty | Maria Panaritis," 13 Mar. 2018 But the only reductions that interest Trump and his party are reductions to the very social safety net that ensures access to affordable mental health care to begin with. Sarah Jones, New Republic, "The Mental Health Scapegoat," 16 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'safety net.' 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 net

1877, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for safety net

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for safety net

The first known use of safety net was in 1877

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More Definitions for safety net

safety net


English Language Learners Definition of safety net

: a net that is placed below acrobats to catch them if they fall

: something that helps someone who is in a difficult situation

More from Merriam-Webster on safety net

See words that rhyme with safety net

Spanish Central: Translation of safety net

Comments on safety net

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


one that holds something together

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