un·​safe | \ ˌən-ˈsāf How to pronounce unsafe (audio) \
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

In today’s tumultuous climate — in which our public spaces are saturated with divisive rhetoric and an ominous increase in hate crimes, and in which even our houses of worship are made to feel unsafe — women’s mosques forge a new path. Asma Uddin, Teen Vogue, "On Muslim Women's Day, Women-Only Mosques Are About Much More Than Prayer," 27 Mar. 2019 A Couple Thousand Residents’ Watching For Crime Alex Rodriguez doesn’t feel unsafe in Thompsonville. Alison Kuznitz, courant.com, "Curbing Crime In Thompsonville: Civilians, Officials To Meet On Potential Block Watch," 9 July 2018 This intercept seems safe, but others can be quite unsafe. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a Russian Jet Fighter Intercept a U.S. Air Force Spy Plane," 7 Mar. 2019 Human right groups say migrants will be unsafe in Mexico, a country with a murder rate five times higher than that of the U.S., and where rival drug gangs fight turf wars across the country. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Mexico to Receive Some Migrants From the U.S.," 25 Jan. 2019 Work on the glacier begins in early June and is usually wrapped up by July, when conditions on the glacier become unsafe. Loren Holmes, Anchorage Daily News, "Officials are racing an Alaska glacier that threatens to swallow what’s left of a 1952 plane crash that killed dozens," 20 June 2018 These actives are currently being reviewed for human safety by the FDA, but haven't been deemed unsafe. Glamour, "This SPF Moisturizer Is Perfect If You Hate Wearing Sunscreen," 15 Mar. 2019 In recent months, the egg became a target of city officials and the Public Art Commission, which claimed the sculpture was deteriorating and deemed it unsafe. Steve Annear, BostonGlobe.com, "A giant egg sculpture that was kicked out of Palo Alto will find a new home at Harvard," 25 June 2018 Some of the seating sections were closed because they were deemed unsafe. Washington Post, "Icon to eyesore: Storied Akron Rubber Bowl awaits demolition," 9 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

19 May 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

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