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

Others are going to work when our workspace is increasingly unsafe. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "President of Flight Attendants Union Suggests General Strike to End Government Shutdown," 23 Jan. 2019 An unsafe work environment was found to triple to quadruple the risk for committing a medical error. Alan Mozes, CBS News, "Doctor burnout behind many medical errors, study finds," 10 July 2018 Sudden shifts in weather — even in summer — can close the road and make trails unsafe, so pay attention to weather forecasts. David Swanson, latimes.com, "How to cope with the crowds at the West's busiest national parks," 1 July 2018 The early-morning habitants have presented an unsafe environment to BART and Muni employees who open the stations or report to work early. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "Something new coming to BART’s Market Street stations. Patience required," 27 June 2018 Allen didn't go full MAGA with his nostalgic bits, with punchlines about how unsafe the family cars were as a child. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Review: At Milwaukee gig, Tim Allen shows why 'Last Man Standing' will be a hit once again," 23 June 2018 When a shooting happened at YouTube’s campus in San Bruno, California, in April, TVCs didn’t get some communications updating workers on the situation, which left them feeling unsafe, the TVCs said. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018 Yet reports of bullying and feeling unsafe at school do not appear to be going in positive directions, the data showed. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "Fewer teens having sex and using drugs, CDC survey finds," 14 June 2018 City officials said in a statement Friday that there is no evidence the public was exposed to unsafe water. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "AG: Cottonwood employee changed drinking-water test results to hide contamination," 27 May 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

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unsafe

The first known use of unsafe was in 1597

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More Definitions for unsafe



English Language Learners Definition of unsafe

: able or likely to cause harm, damage, or loss
: not giving protection from danger, harm, or loss
: not protected from danger, harm, or loss


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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More from Merriam-Webster on unsafe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unsafe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unsafe

Spanish Central: Translation of unsafe

Nglish: Translation of unsafe for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unsafe

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