American English

Definition of save verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they save
    he / she / it saves
    past simple saved
    -ing form saving
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    keep safe
  1. 1[transitive] to keep someone or something safe from death, harm, loss, etc. save somebody/something to save someone's life Doctors 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 art school from closing. save somebody/something from doing something She saved a little girl from falling into the water.
  2. money
  3. 2[intransitive, transitive] to keep money instead of spending it, especially in order to buy a particular thing I'm not very good at saving. save (up) (for something) I'm saving for a new bike. We've been saving up to go to Argentina. save something (up) (for something) You should save a little each week. I've saved almost $500 so far.
  4. keep for future
  5. 3[transitive] to keep something to use or enjoy in the future save 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 me. save somebody something Save me some food.
  6. computing
  7. 4[transitive, intransitive] save (something) to store information in a computer by giving it a special instruction Don't forget to save the file before you close it. Save data frequently.
  8. not waste
  9. 5[transitive, intransitive] to avoid wasting something or using more than necessary save something We'll take a cab to save time. Reserve early and save $50! We should try to save water. save something on something The government is trying to save $100 million on defense. save somebody something (on something) If we go this way it will save us two hours on the trip. save on something I save on bus fare by walking to work.
  10. collect something
  11. 6[transitive] save something to collect something because you like it or for a special purpose I've been saving theater programs for years. If you save ten box tops, you can get a T-shirt.
  12. avoid something bad
  13. 7[transitive] to avoid doing something difficult or unpleasant; to make someone able to avoid doing something difficult or unpleasant save somebody from doing something The prize money saved her from having to find a job. save something She did it herself to save argument. save somebody something Thanks for sending that letter for me—it saved me a trip. save doing something He's grown a beard to save shaving. save somebody doing (from) something If you call for an appointment, it'll save you from waiting.
  14. in sports
  15. 8[transitive, intransitive] save (something) (in soccer, etc.) to prevent an opponent's shot from going in the goal to save a penalty The goalie saved Johnson's long-range shot.
  16. Thesaurussavebudget 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:I've budgeted $1,000 to furnish my new apartment.economize to use less money, time, etc. than you normally usetighten your belt (somewhat informal) to spend less money because there is less available:My parents really had to tighten their belts after my mother retired.Patterns to save up/budget for something to have to save/budget/economize/tighten our belts to try to/manage to/be able to save/budget/economize Thesaurussaverescue bail somebody out come through (for somebody)These words all mean to prevent someone from dying, losing something, being harmed, or being to prevent someone 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 someone from a dangerous or harmful situation:They were rescued by a passing cruise ship.bail somebody out to rescue someone from a difficult situation, especially by providing money:Don't expect me to bail you out if it all goes wrong.come through (for somebody) (somewhat informal) to prevent disaster for someone:My sister really came through for me when I lost my job.Patterns to save/rescue somebody/something from something to rescue somebody/bail somebody out financiallyIdioms
    not be able to do something to save your life (informal)
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    to be completely unable to do something He can't interview people to save his life.
    a penny saved is a penny earned (saying)
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    used to say that it is important to save money whenever possible
    save somebody's bacon/neck (informal)
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    to rescue someone from a very difficult situation
    save your breath (informal)
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    used to tell someone that it is not worth wasting time and effort saying something because it will not change anything Save your breath—you'll never persuade her.
    save the day/situation
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    to prevent failure or defeat, when this seems certain to happen Orr's late goal saved the day for the Bruins.
    to avoid or help someone avoid embarrassment She was fired, but she saved face by telling everyone she'd resigned.
    save your (own) skin/hide/neck
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    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.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: save