Definition of save verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; seɪv

keep safe

1 [transitive] to keep somebody/something safe from death, harm, loss, etcsave somebody/something to save somebody's lifeDoctors were unable to save her.He's trying to save their marriage.She needs to win the next two games to save the match. (figurative) Thanks for doing that. You saved my life(= helped me a lot).save somebody/something (from something) to save a rare species (from extinction)Money from local businesses helped save the school from somebody/something from doing something She saved a little girl from falling into the water.


2 [intransitive, transitive] to keep money instead of spending it, especially in order to buy a particular thingI'm not very good at (up) (for something) I'm saving for a new bike.We've been saving up to go to something (up) (for something) You should save a little each week.I've saved almost £100 so far.

collect something

3 [transitive] save something to collect something because you like it or for a special purposeI've been saving theatre programmes for years.If you save ten tokens you can get a T-shirt.

keep for future

4 [transitive] to keep something to use or enjoy in the futuresave something (for something/somebody) He's saving his strength for the last part of the race.We'll eat some now and save some for tomorrow.Save some food for somebody something Save me some food.

not waste

5 [transitive, intransitive] to avoid wasting something or using more than necessarysave something We'll take a cab to save time.Book early and save £50!We should try to save something on something The government is trying to save £1 million on somebody something (on something) If we go this way it will save us two hours on the on something I save on fares by walking to work.

avoid something bad

6 [transitive] to avoid doing something difficult or unpleasant; to make somebody able to avoid doing something difficult or unpleasantsave somebody from doing something The prize money saved her from having to find a something She did it herself to save somebody something Thanks for sending that letter for me—it saved me a doing something He's grown a beard to save somebody doing something If you phone for an appointment, it'll save you waiting.

in sport

7 [transitive, intransitive] save (something) (in football ( soccer ), etc.) to prevent an opponent's shot from going in the goalto save a penaltyThe goalie saved Johnson's long-range shot. (British English) The goalie saved brilliantly from Johnson's long-range shot.


8 [transitive, intransitive] save (something) to make a computer keep work, for example by putting it on a diskSave data frequently.

not be able to do something to save your life

(informal) to be completely unable to do somethingHe can't interview people to save his life.

save somebody's bacon/neck

(informal) to rescue somebody from a very difficult situation

save the day/situation

to prevent failure or defeat, when this seems certain to happen
Gerrard's late goal saved the day for Liverpool.

save (somebody's) face

to avoid or help somebody avoid embarrassment
She was fired, but she saved face by telling everyone she'd resigned.

save your breath

(informal) used to tell somebody that it is not worth wasting time and effort saying something because it will not change anythingSave your breath—you'll never persuade her.

save your (own) skin/hide/neck

to try to avoid death, punishment, etc, especially by leaving others in an extremely difficult situation
To save his own skin, he lied and blamed the accident on his friend.
Usage noteUsage note: saverescue bail out redeemThese words all mean to prevent somebody/something from dying, losing something, being harmed or to prevent somebody/something from dying, being harmed or destroyed or losing something:Doctors were unable to save him. a campaign to save the panda from extinctionrescue to save somebody/something from a dangerous or harmful situation:They were rescued by a passing cruise ship.bail somebody out to rescue somebody/something from a difficult situation, especially by providing money:Don't expect me to bail you out if it all goes wrong.redeem (formal, religion) to save somebody from the power of evil:He was a sinner, redeemed by the grace of God. Redeem is also used in non-religious language in the phrase redeem a situation, which means to prevent a situation from being as bad as it might save/rescue/redeem somebody/something from somethingto save/rescue/redeem a situationto save/redeem sinners/mankindto rescue somebody/bail somebody out financiallyUsage noteUsage note: savebudget economize tighten your beltThese words all mean to spend less to keep money instead of spending it, often in order to buy a particular thing:I'm saving for a new car.budget to be careful about the amount of money you spend; to plan to spend an amount of money for a particular purpose:If we budget carefully we'll be able to afford the trip.economize to use less money, time, etc. than you normally usetighten your belt (rather informal) to spend less money because there is less available:With the price increases, we are all having to tighten our save up/budget for somethingto have to save/budget/economize/tighten our beltsto try to/manage to save/budget/economize