Definition of unsafe in English:



  • 1Not safe; dangerous:

    ‘drinking water in some areas may be unsafe’
    • ‘I'm not saying this product is safe or unsafe, but I don't think it's life-threatening.’
    • ‘But even when he and other GPs believe an elderly driver is unsafe, he has no powers to ban them from the road.’
    • ‘But they were quickly forced to withdraw as the heat built up and the fire chiefs declared the building unsafe.’
    • ‘A second group used steroids because they felt unsafe or threatened and wanted to become stronger.’
    • ‘People are viewed as free agents capable of choosing between safe and unsafe modes of behaviour.’
    • ‘If the bonfire is deemed unsafe the police or fire service will report it to Bradford Council which will arrange for it to be removed.’
    • ‘Their belief is people themselves have the right to choose what is safe and unsafe.’
    • ‘The service, which treats about 800 patients, has been told its existing premises are unsafe.’
    • ‘However plans to switch it to Witton Park in Blackburn had to be dropped because the park is waterlogged and would be unsafe.’
    • ‘I would think that you know better than anybody else how safe or unsafe the cars are.’
    • ‘They will end up on the road fatality lists, victims of poor and dangerous roads and unsafe driving.’
    • ‘I have friends of all ages who avoid visiting the town at night because they feel threatened and unsafe.’
    • ‘Borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them.’
    • ‘It meant safe abortions, rather than the unsafe ones women would attempt anyway.’
    • ‘For a time, the fire was so dangerous, it was unsafe for firefighters to even be up here.’
    • ‘Five houses have been declared unsafe and people living there have been shifted to safer places.’
    • ‘If the vehicle has been left in a dangerous position or it is considered to be unsafe then the police have powers to remove it straight away.’
    • ‘Only the ground floor has remained in use after the first floor was deemed structurally unsafe in the 1950s.’
    • ‘He learned that conditions were treacherous and it was unsafe to go to the cliff edge.’
    • ‘As of now our roads are equally unsafe for vehicle drivers and pedestrians.’
    dangerous, risky, perilous, hazardous, precarious, life-threatening, high-risk, treacherous, insecure, unsound, vulnerable, exposed, defenceless
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  • 2Law
    (of a verdict or conviction) not based on reliable evidence and likely to constitute a miscarriage of justice:

    ‘because the confession was unreliable the verdict was unsafe and unsatisfactory’
    • ‘But the question of whether the appellants' convictions were unsafe is a matter of English law.’
    • ‘For those reasons, we consider that the conviction was unsafe in the case of both appellants.’
    • ‘The prosecution accept that if the trial was unfair the convictions were unsafe and should be quashed.’
    • ‘I hope these are grounds in law to show that the verdict was unsafe.’
    • ‘On this appeal four grounds are relied upon in support of the submission that the appellant's conviction is unsafe.’
    unreliable, insecure, unsound, questionable, open to question, doubtful, open to doubt, dubious, uncertain, suspect, shaky, flimsy, weak, unconvincing, unsupported, unsubstantiated, fallible
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