American English

Definition of safe adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (safer, safest)
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  1. 1[not before noun] protected from any danger or harm The children are quite safe here. She didn't feel safe on her own. Will the car be safe parked in the road? safe (from somebody/something) They aimed to make the country safe from terrorist attacks. Your secret is safe with me (= I will not tell anyone else). Here's your passport. Now keep it safe. Nobody is safe from suspicion at the moment. We have been assured that our jobs are safe (= we are not in danger of losing them). opposite unsafe
  2. without physical danger
  3. 2not likely to lead to any physical harm or danger a safe and effective remedy for coughs and colds safe (for somebody) (to do something) Is the water here safe to drink? The street is not safe for children to play in. It is one of the safest cars in the world. We watched the explosion from a safe distance. Builders were called in to make the building safe. opposite unsafe
  4. not harmed/lost
  5. 3not harmed, damaged, lost, etc. We were glad she let us know she was safe. The missing child was found safe and well. They turned up safe and sound. A reward was offered for the animal's safe return.
  6. place
  7. 4where someone or something is not likely to be in danger or to be lost We all want to live in safer cities. Keep your passport in a safe place. opposite unsafe
  8. without risk
  9. 5not involving much or any risk; not likely to be wrong or to upset someone a safe investment a safe subject for discussion safe (to do something) It's safe to assume (that) there will always be a demand for new software. It would be safer to take more money with you in case of emergency. (disapproving) The show was well performed, but so safe and predictable.
  10. person
  11. 6[usually before noun] doing an activity in a careful way synonym careful a safe driver
  12. law
  13. 7based on good evidence a safe verdict see also fail-safe
  14. Idioms
    better safe than sorry (saying)
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    used to say that it is wiser to be too careful than to act too quickly and do something you may later wish you had not
    a good/safe bet
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    something that is likely to happen, to succeed, or to be suitable Money is a safe bet as a present for a teenager.
    in safe hands, in the safe hands of somebody
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    being taken care of well by someone I've left the kids in safe hands—with my parents. Their problem was in the safe hands of the experts.
    on the safe side
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    being especially careful; taking no risks I took some extra cash just to be on the safe side.
    play (it) safe
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    to be careful; to avoid risks Play safe—keep out of the sun in the middle of the day.
    safe in the knowledge that
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    confident because you know that something is true or will happen She went out safe in the knowledge that she looked fabulous.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: safe