Definition of safety in English:



  • 1The 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After the inspection, the premises were voluntarily closed for two weeks, until officers were satisfied there was no longer a risk to food safety.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They had no health and safety training and no risk assessments had been carried out, a jury heard.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are health, safety and environmental risks associated with asbestos.’
    • ‘He defended his claims that the FDA is not protecting our health and safety.’
    • ‘This is the first European-wide campaign to raise awareness about the risks to health and safety of chemicals at work.’
    • ‘They were concerned with food safety, labor conditions, things like that.’
    • ‘The case against Sellafield usually centres upon the risk to health and safety posed by the dumping of nuclear waste into the Irish Sea.’
    • ‘All employers have a moral, legal and financial incentive to do what they can to protect the health and safety of others.’
    • ‘A union official said that health and safety conditions inside the mine are also an issue.’
    • ‘There is no evidence that the plaintiff's conduct put anyone's health or safety at risk.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Plans to cut health and safety spending risked the lives of workers across the country, said another union.’
    • ‘Steinbach veterinarian Doug Bazinet said the risk from BSE to human health and food safety is very low.’
    • ‘The fact is that, because of the nature of her injuries, her safety is at constant risk.’
    • ‘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.’
    harmlessness, lack of side effects
    welfare, well-being, protection, security
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[as modifier] Denoting something designed to prevent injury or damage.
      ‘a safety barrier’
      ‘a safety helmet’
      • ‘A cotter pin acts a safety measure to prevent the arm from sliding off the stub.’
      • ‘All models have a safety switch preventing operation when the hopper door is opened.’
      • ‘During this summer we saw a case of VG rope breaking and found a slightly damaged safety wire on that glider.’
      • ‘Some hot-mist vaporizers have safety latches to prevent accidental scalding.’
      • ‘A safety notch is designed in to prevent a discharge from occurring after a sudden impact.’
      • ‘Make sure extension cords have safety closures to help prevent shock hazards and mouth burn injuries.’
      • ‘There will be a strong desire for preventive technologies and safety mechanisms even in the home.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Burley trailer is loaded with safety measures and great design features.’
      • ‘Reports indicate that safety rails designed to prevent falls from the platform had been removed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Colorific markers also feature ventilated safety caps to prevent choking.’
      • ‘Individual child safety seats are designed to fit children of specific heights and weights.’
      • ‘He added that he would be calling for a safety barrier to be placed at the site to prevent a potential tragedy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There were also damaged safety barriers and walkways.’
      • ‘Renault's own bold designs and investment in safety technology have clearly struck a chord with customers.’
      • ‘Many of these fatalities and injuries could have been prevented if proper safety precautions were taken.’
      • ‘This type of cancer is the only tumor that can be prevented by appropriate safety measures.’
    2. 1.2North American
      short for safety lock
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It can be fired single or double-action, and has an automatic safety that blocks the firing pin until the trigger is pulled.’
      • ‘The P99 has the customary passive firing pin and disconnector safeties.’
      • ‘Glock fans would be tempted to compare it to the thingy that sticks out of the Glock trigger that they call a trigger safety.’
      • ‘We strode in single file to join the creek, weapons - safeties off - leading the way.’
      • ‘The main gun's normal firing circuit operates the firing mechanism of AIMTEST and all main gun safeties are operational.’
      • ‘The SEALs disengaged the safeties on their rifles.’
      • ‘The tank commander swung his machine gun around, flipping off the safeties… and hesitated, the barrel pointed at the elder.’
      • ‘Several of the guards, mingling among the inmates, flicked off the safeties of their own weapons in preparation of any trouble.’
      • ‘Joe's invention is a thumb safety for both large and small frame Glock pistols.’
      • ‘It comes equipped with an automatic safety, scope rail, rifled barrel and adjustable sights.’
      • ‘The safeties include a firing pin block, safety notch on the hammer and the de-cock lever.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They fit regular 1911 holsters, the ambidextrous thumb safeties work the same way and the light double-action only trigger pull is excellent.’
      • ‘The other parts of a Baer package are things we've come to consider standard on custom guns: checkering, sights, triggers, beavertails and safeties.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Magtech rifle features a cross-bolt safety mounted in the front part of the trigger guard.’
      • ‘The earlier variation has a small triggerguard and generally lacks a magazine safety.’
      • ‘He unshipped both his assault rifle and scattergun, made sure the safeties were off, and restrained the urge to smile.’
      • ‘Like all Glocks, the G37 has three safeties: a trigger safety, firing pin safety and drop safety.’
    3. 1.3US informal A condom.
  • 2American Football
    A defensive back who normally is positioned well behind the line of scrimmage.

    • ‘QB Trent Green must recognize when the Colts' safeties creep up to the line, then look for TE Tony Gonzalez downfield.’
    • ‘The defensive backs, particularly the safeties, also need to tackle better.’
    • ‘Moss' presence also helps the running game because defenses often keep safeties deep to account for him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On certain passing downs, all three safeties might take the field together.’
    • ‘Sam Games and Damien Robinson are physical safeties, not speed demons, and opponents have been able to capitalize.’
    • ‘The play of the safeties needs to improve, particularly when the team goes to its nickel and dime packages.’
    • ‘Their speed will force defenses to use their safeties deeper to help the corners.’
    1. 2.1 A play in which the offense downs the ball (by action of the defense, or intentionally) in their own end zone, scoring two points for the defense.
      • ‘Even their fourth linebacker, Rocky Boiman, has an interception return for a touchdown and a safety.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If she has played a safety on her trouble ball, she would have won.’


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