un·safe | \ ˌən-ˈsāf \
unsafer; unsafest

Definition of unsafe 

: not safe: such as

a : able or likely to cause harm, damage, or loss water that is unsafe to drink unsafe driving habits unsafe levels of lead

b : not giving protection from danger, harm, or loss an unsafe vehicle unsafe working conditions

c : not protected from danger, harm, or loss feeling frightened and unsafe

d : likely to take risks : not careful unsafe drivers

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Examples of unsafe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Some older riders got uncomfortably close to what would be deemed medically unsafe for their age. Richard Stephens, Smithsonian, "The History and Psychology of Roller Coasters," 12 July 2018 Schimel said releasing inmates would be unsafe to the public because about 67% of inmates in state prisons have committed at least one violent offense. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "AG Brad Schimel: Democratic candidates' plans to cut prison population are 'deceiving the public'," 9 July 2018 Oregon child welfare workers found that the boy was unsafe with his mother at least once, in March 2014, court records show. Everton Bailey Jr., OregonLive.com, "Newport mom accused of stabbing son, 6, told police he deserved it, court records show," 29 May 2018 Snedecor's announcement followed action by the board to seek three proposals to demolish a house at 426 Liberty St. that had caught fire two years ago and is unsafe and uninhabitable, according to Building Official Mike Hannigan. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "Hobart considers demolition plan for dilapidated structures," 17 May 2018 If levels are unsafe, as indicated on the CDC website, don't swim. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Parasites and bacteria may be lurking in hotel pools, hot tubs, CDC warns," 17 May 2018 That leaves too many classes not covered, which causes a situation that is unsafe and unproductive for students and staff. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky teachers shut down schools in protest over the pension bill. Here's what we know," 30 Mar. 2018 Both lawsuits accuse the Texans of failing to pay minimum wage and overtime to cheerleaders and subjecting them to unsafe working conditions. David Barron, Houston Chronicle, "Ex-Texans cheerleaders drop lawsuit, opt for arbitration," 11 July 2018 The Labour Department crunches economic statistics, administers unemployment insurance and workers’ compensations schemes, and investigates unsafe working conditions. The Economist, "Remaking the federal government," 28 June 2018

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

1597, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unsafe

Last Updated

25 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unsafe

The first known use of unsafe was in 1597

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More Definitions for unsafe


un·safe | \ ˌən-ˈsāf \

Kids Definition of unsafe

: exposed or exposing to danger People are unsafe on the streets. The bridge is unsafe for heavy trucks.

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Comments on unsafe

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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