\ ˈsāf How to pronounce safe (audio) \
safer; safest

Definition of safe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : free from harm or risk : unhurt
2a : secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss
b : successful at getting to a base in baseball without being put out
3 : affording safety or security from danger, risk, or difficulty
4 obsolete, of mental or moral faculties : healthy, sound
5a : not threatening danger : harmless
b : unlikely to produce controversy or contradiction
6a : not likely to take risks : cautious



Definition of safe (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a place or receptacle to keep articles (such as valuables) safe

Other Words from safe


safe or safely adverb
safeness noun

Examples of safe in a Sentence

Adjective I don't feel safe in this neighborhood. The kids were safe in the cabin. We need to make sure that the children are safe and sound. “Is the money safe?” “Yes, it's in the bank.” a world made safe from war Is it safe to walk here? He wished us a safe trip. I found a safe place to take shelter from the storm. They live in a perfectly safe neighborhood. We watched the fireworks from a safe distance. Noun the hotel recommended that we keep all our valuables in its safe during our stay See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Both vaccines are safe, and both produced antibody levels similar to those seen in young adults. Apoorva Mandavilli,, 18 June 2022 The vaccines are safe and trigger the same immune response that has protected older children and adults, the advisory panel decided Saturday. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 18 June 2022 Wen: Both vaccines are safe, and both are effective. Katia Hetter, CNN, 18 June 2022 No one is safe: Meta Platforms has lost over half its market value this year, and Twitter’s shares might have done even worse absent Mr. Musk’s iffy bid. Laura Forman, WSJ, 17 June 2022 During a hearing before the committee on Wednesday, Elanco Animal Health CEO Jeffrey Simmons said the collar is safe and had been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, undergoing more than 80 safety, toxicity and efficacy studies. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 17 June 2022 Allowing adolescents to access treatments worries some advocates who say there isn’t enough research to ensure that the care is safe in the long term. Jo Yurcaba, NBC News, 17 June 2022 People with highly specialized skills that are hard to replace may be overlooked for dismissal, whereas workers that possess talents that are ubiquitous and easily replaced are not safe. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 16 June 2022 While the resulting product is definitely delicious, our Lab experts also love how easy cleanup is: The chute, plunger and blade are all top-rack dishwasher safe. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, 16 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Instead, the investigators stored the laptop in a supervisor’s office, in a special safe that had been certified to hold Top Secret documents—even though anyone could go to the Internet to see the materials that were on it. Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 In that safe was a handgun and the woman’s boyfriend’s Social Security card, bank book and passport. cleveland, 21 Jan. 2022 Plus, after the fun of building, kids can use the safe to store their prized possessions. Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping, 25 Apr. 2022 Hexbug Kids can build their own safe with this kit, which comes with a customizable dial lock and dual bolts. Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping, 25 Apr. 2022 Burglars had broken through a glass door at the back of the home sometime between 5:30 and 10:30 p.m. and made off with gold jewelry and a large safe. Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2022 Shauna attempts, literally, to lock her harrowing experience away in a tiny safe, which is a pretty on-the-nose metaphor for repression. Erin Qualey, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2022 Guns should be unloaded and locked in appropriate safes or lock boxes for handguns, with ammunition locked in a separate safe, the AAP recommends. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 9 Dec. 2021 The physical threat from the Mötley Crüe drummer reportedly flipped a switch in Gauthier, who, in retaliation, stole a safe from the couple’s garage, forced it open and discovered a tape that Anderson and Lee had made on their honeymoon. Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'safe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of safe


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for safe


Middle English sauf, from Anglo-French salf, sauf, from Latin salvus safe, healthy; akin to Latin solidus solid, Greek holos whole, safe, Sanskrit sarva entire

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The first known use of safe was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Safe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for safe


\ ˈsāf How to pronounce safe (audio) \
safer; safest

Kids Definition of safe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : free or secure from harm or danger I don't feel safe here.
2 : giving protection or security against harm or danger a safe neighborhood
3 : harmless safe drinking water
4 : unlikely to be wrong or cause disagreement a safe answer
5 : not likely to take risks : careful a safe driver
6 : successful in reaching a base in baseball

Other Words from safe

safely adverb



Kids Definition of safe (Entry 2 of 2)

: a metal box with a lock that is used for keeping something (as money) safe

Choose the Right Synonym for safe


safe and secure mean free from danger. safe is used of freedom from a present danger. I felt safe as soon as I crossed the street. secure is used of freedom from a possible future danger or risk. The locks on the door made us feel secure.


\ ˈsāf How to pronounce safe (audio) \
safer; safest

Medical Definition of safe

: not causing harm or injury especially : having a low incidence of adverse reactions and significant side effects when adequate instructions for use are given and having a low potential for harm under conditions of widespread availability a list of drugs generally regarded as safe safe use in pregnancy has not been established Emergency Medicine

Other Words from safe

safety \ ˈsāf-​tē How to pronounce safe (audio) \ noun, plural safeties

More from Merriam-Webster on safe

Nglish: Translation of safe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of safe for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about safe


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