Definition of safety in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury:

    ‘they should leave for their own safety’
    ‘the survivors were airlifted to safety’
    • ‘All employers have a moral, legal and financial incentive to do what they can to protect the health and safety of others.’
    • ‘After the inspection, the premises were voluntarily closed for two weeks, until officers were satisfied there was no longer a risk to food safety.’
    • ‘He defended his claims that the FDA is not protecting our health and safety.’
    • ‘The fact is that, because of the nature of her injuries, her safety is at constant risk.’
    • ‘A union official said that health and safety conditions inside the mine are also an issue.’
    • ‘This is the first European-wide campaign to raise awareness about the risks to health and safety of chemicals at work.’
    • ‘Steinbach veterinarian Doug Bazinet said the risk from BSE to human health and food safety is very low.’
    • ‘Was it necessary to show an imminent danger to health or safety?’
    • ‘Risk assessments must be conducted if the work exposes employees to levels of vibration that could pose a risk to health and safety, and action must be taken.’
    • ‘One of the traditional roles of family has been to provide a structure of safety, protection and security for individuals who are linked by blood.’
    • ‘Tonight, we'll show you how some of those imports put your health and safety at risk.’
    • ‘Plans to cut health and safety spending risked the lives of workers across the country, said another union.’
    • ‘However, due to the potential health and safety risk it was decided to remove the trees and replace with native species at a later date in the year.’
    • ‘Giving evidence, he told the court that he was a ‘proficient’ gunman and that he had taken steps to avoid any risk to health and safety.’
    • ‘They had no health and safety training and no risk assessments had been carried out, a jury heard.’
    • ‘Until they find more definitive evidence of the danger or safety of meat entering the food chain the public must continue to make up their own minds about what they eat.’
    • ‘There is no evidence that the plaintiff's conduct put anyone's health or safety at risk.’
    • ‘The case against Sellafield usually centres upon the risk to health and safety posed by the dumping of nuclear waste into the Irish Sea.’
    • ‘They were concerned with food safety, labor conditions, things like that.’
    • ‘There are health, safety and environmental risks associated with asbestos.’
    welfare, well-being, protection, security
    harmlessness, lack of side effects
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[as modifier] Denoting something designed to prevent injury or damage:
      ‘a safety barrier’
      ‘a safety helmet’
      • ‘There will be a strong desire for preventive technologies and safety mechanisms even in the home.’
      • ‘Since you are new to an area that is in striking distance of a hurricane, it is best for you to design a hurricane safety plan.’
      • ‘There were also damaged safety barriers and walkways.’
      • ‘Colorific markers also feature ventilated safety caps to prevent choking.’
      • ‘He added that he would be calling for a safety barrier to be placed at the site to prevent a potential tragedy.’
      • ‘Make sure extension cords have safety closures to help prevent shock hazards and mouth burn injuries.’
      • ‘Individual child safety seats are designed to fit children of specific heights and weights.’
      • ‘A safety notch is designed in to prevent a discharge from occurring after a sudden impact.’
      • ‘Some hot-mist vaporizers have safety latches to prevent accidental scalding.’
      • ‘Reports indicate that safety rails designed to prevent falls from the platform had been removed.’
      • ‘All models have a safety switch preventing operation when the hopper door is opened.’
      • ‘Renault's own bold designs and investment in safety technology have clearly struck a chord with customers.’
      • ‘During this summer we saw a case of VG rope breaking and found a slightly damaged safety wire on that glider.’
      • ‘The ditch would need to be braced to prevent cave-in and a safety fence would need to be built around the ditch.’
      • ‘The specially designed ventilated safety cap is also easier for kids to remove and recap.’
      • ‘But at about 5am on Sunday a safety device designed to cut the gas if the pressure gets too high malfunctioned and shut the gas off.’
      • ‘A cotter pin acts a safety measure to prevent the arm from sliding off the stub.’
      • ‘This type of cancer is the only tumor that can be prevented by appropriate safety measures.’
      • ‘The Burley trailer is loaded with safety measures and great design features.’
      • ‘Many of these fatalities and injuries could have been prevented if proper safety precautions were taken.’
    2. 1.2North American
      short for safety catch
      • ‘They fit regular 1911 holsters, the ambidextrous thumb safeties work the same way and the light double-action only trigger pull is excellent.’
      • ‘The P99 has the customary passive firing pin and disconnector safeties.’
      • ‘Joe's invention is a thumb safety for both large and small frame Glock pistols.’
      • ‘On the other hand, the Glock has no external hammer, but rather features internal safeties and a mechanical safety located in the center of the trigger.’
      • ‘The SEALs disengaged the safeties on their rifles.’
      • ‘He unshipped both his assault rifle and scattergun, made sure the safeties were off, and restrained the urge to smile.’
      • ‘These pistols do not have magazine safeties, but they all incorporate internal firing pin blocks to prevent discharge if the pistol is dropped or suffers a similarly sharp blow.’
      • ‘Like all Glocks, the G37 has three safeties: a trigger safety, firing pin safety and drop safety.’
      • ‘We strode in single file to join the creek, weapons - safeties off - leading the way.’
      • ‘Glock fans would be tempted to compare it to the thingy that sticks out of the Glock trigger that they call a trigger safety.’
      • ‘The earlier variation has a small triggerguard and generally lacks a magazine safety.’
      • ‘It can be fired single or double-action, and has an automatic safety that blocks the firing pin until the trigger is pulled.’
      • ‘The tank commander swung his machine gun around, flipping off the safeties… and hesitated, the barrel pointed at the elder.’
      • ‘The safeties include a firing pin block, safety notch on the hammer and the de-cock lever.’
      • ‘It comes equipped with an automatic safety, scope rail, rifled barrel and adjustable sights.’
      • ‘The Magtech rifle features a cross-bolt safety mounted in the front part of the trigger guard.’
      • ‘The other parts of a Baer package are things we've come to consider standard on custom guns: checkering, sights, triggers, beavertails and safeties.’
      • ‘The main gun's normal firing circuit operates the firing mechanism of AIMTEST and all main gun safeties are operational.’
      • ‘This subcompact pistol sports three integral safeties, nothing to snag on a purse or holster and a finish that can stand up to extreme wear and tear.’
      • ‘Several of the guards, mingling among the inmates, flicked off the safeties of their own weapons in preparation of any trouble.’
  • 2American Football
    A defensive back who plays in a deep position.

    • ‘Their speed will force defenses to use their safeties deeper to help the corners.’
    • ‘QB Trent Green must recognize when the Colts' safeties creep up to the line, then look for TE Tony Gonzalez downfield.’
    • ‘On certain passing downs, all three safeties might take the field together.’
    • ‘The team almost certainly will take a safety with one of its first draft picks and will need to find some depth at corner in free agency.’
    • ‘Moss' presence also helps the running game because defenses often keep safeties deep to account for him.’
    • ‘The play of the safeties needs to improve, particularly when the team goes to its nickel and dime packages.’
    • ‘The defensive backs, particularly the safeties, also need to tackle better.’
    • ‘Sam Games and Damien Robinson are physical safeties, not speed demons, and opponents have been able to capitalize.’
    1. 2.1 A play in which the ball is downed by the offence in their own end zone, scoring two points to the defence.
      • ‘Even their fourth linebacker, Rocky Boiman, has an interception return for a touchdown and a safety.’
      • ‘If she has played a safety on her trouble ball, she would have won.’
      • ‘Asi Faoa blocked the ensuing punt in the end zone for a UCLA safety.’
      • ‘All they need to do is to put the ball at the back of the net and their safety will be secured.’
  • 3US informal A condom.


Middle English: from Old French sauvete, from medieval Latin salvitas, from Latin salvus safe.