1 [seyv]
verb (used with object), saved, saving.
to rescue from danger or possible harm, injury, or loss: to save someone from drowning.
to keep safe, intact, or unhurt; safeguard; preserve: God save the king.
to keep from being lost: to save the game.
to avoid the spending, consumption, or waste of: to save fuel.
to keep, as for reuse: to save leftovers for tomorrow's dinner.
to set aside, reserve, or lay by: to save money.
to treat carefully in order to reduce wear, fatigue, etc.: to save one's eyes by reading under proper light.
to prevent the occurrence, use, or necessity of; obviate: to come early in order to save waiting.
Theology. to deliver from the power and consequences of sin.
Computers. to copy (a file) from RAM onto a disk or other storage medium.
Sports. to stop (a ball or puck) from entering one's goal.
verb (used without object), saved, saving.
to lay up money as the result of economy or thrift.
to be economical in expenditure.
to preserve something from harm, injury, loss, etc.
to admit of being kept without spoiling, as food.
an act or instance of saving, especially in sports.
Baseball. a statistical credit given a relief pitcher for preserving a team's victory by holding its lead in a game.

1175–1225; Middle English sa(u)ven < Old French sauver < Late Latin salvāre to save; see safe

savable, saveable, adjective
savableness, saveableness, noun
saver, noun
unsavable, adjective
unsaveable, adjective
unsaved, adjective

1. salvage. 6. store up, husband. 12. economize, hoard. Unabridged


2 [seyv]
except; but: All the guests had left save one.
except; but (usually followed by that ): He would have gone, save that he had no means.

1250–1300; Middle English; variant of safe

1. See except1.


noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Sava or Save (ˈsɑːvə, sɑːv)
a river in SE Europe, rising in NW Slovenia and flowing east and south to the Danube at Belgrade. Length: 940 km (584 miles)
Save or Save

save1 (seɪv)
1.  (tr) to rescue, preserve, or guard (a person or thing) from danger or harm
2.  to avoid the spending, waste, or loss of (money, possessions, etc)
3.  (tr) to deliver from sin; redeem
4.  (often foll by up) to set aside or reserve (money, goods, etc) for future use
5.  (tr) to treat with care so as to avoid or lessen wear or degeneration: use a good light to save your eyes
6.  (tr) to prevent the necessity for; obviate the trouble of: good work now will save future revision
7.  (tr) sport to prevent (a goal) by stopping (a struck ball or puck)
8.  chiefly (US) (intr) (of food) to admit of preservation; keep
9.  sport the act of saving a goal
10.  computing an instruction to write information from the memory onto a tape or disk
[C13: from Old French salver, via Late Latin from Latin salvus safe]

save2 (seɪv)
1.  (often foll by for) Also: saving with the exception of
2.  but; except
[C13 sauf, from Old French, from Latin salvō, from salvus safe]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., "to deliver (one's soul) from sin and its consequences;" mid-13c., "to deliver or rescue from peril," from O.Fr. sauver, from L.L. salvare "make safe, secure," from L. salvus "safe" (see safe (adj.)). Meaning "store up, to keep instead of spending" is attested from
mid-14c.; savings "money hoarded up" is from 1737; savings bank is 1817 (S & L for savings and loan attested from 1951). Save face (1898) first was used among the British community in China and is said to be from Chinese; it has not been found in Chinese, but tiu lien "to lose face" does occur. To not (do something) to save one's life is recorded from 1848. Phrase saved by the bell (1932) is from boxing.

in the sports sense of "act of preventing opponent from scoring," 1890, from save (v.).

c.1300, from safe (q.v.), paralleling evolution in O.Fr. sauf "safe," prepositional use of the adj., in phrases such as saulve l'honneur "save (our) honor."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

SAVE definition

An assembler for the Burroughs 220 by Melvin Conway (see Conway's Law). The name "SAVE" didn't stand for anything, it was just that you lost fewer card decks and listings because they all had SAVE written on them.

save definition

editor, programming, storage
To copy data to a more permanent form of storage. The term is commonly used for when some kind of document editing application program writes the current document from RAM to a file on hard disk at the request of the user. The implication is that the user might later load the file back into the editor again to view it, print it, or continue editing it. Saving a document makes it safe from the effects of power failure.
The "document" might actually be anything, e.g. a word processor document, the current state of a game, a piece of music, a website, or a memory image of some program being executed (though the term "dump" would probably be more common here).
Data can be saved to any kind of (writable) storage: hard disk, floppy disk, CD-R; either locally or via a network.
A program might save its data without any explicit user request, e.g. periodically as a precaution ("auto save"), or if it forms part of a pipeline of processes which pass data via intermediate files. In the latter case the term suggests all data is written in a single operation whereas "output" might be a continuous flow, in true pipeline fashion.
When copying several files from one storage medium to another, the terms "backup", "dump", or "archive" would be used rather than "save". The term "store" is similar to "save" but typically applies to copying a single item of data, e.g. a number, from a processor's register to RAM.
A "save" operation saves the document in its native format, e.g. a proprietary word processor format, whereas "save as" (or "export") saves the same data in a different format, e.g. a plain text file.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with save, also see penny saved is a penny earned; rainy day, save for a; scrimp and save; to save one's life.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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