One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A match igniting only when struck on a specially prepared surface, especially the side of a matchbook or matchbox.
- ‘The introduction of safety matches also facilitated the spread of cigarette smoking.’
- ‘Another familiar, although much less important, use of phosphorus is the manufacture of wood and paper safety matches.’
- ‘They were safety matches, however, and she couldn't find anything to light them on, finding tree bark a poor substitute for the sandpaper-like substance on match boxes.’
- ‘They were helped by hotel manager Yossi Agusti to use the money to buy basic necessities such as sheets, sarongs, buckets, plates, spoons, glasses, water containers, safety matches, flashlights, batteries and food.’
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