something that serves as a protection or defense or that ensures safety.
a permit for safe passage.
a guard or convoy.
a mechanical device for ensuring safety.
verb (used with object)
to guard; protect; secure.

1325–75; Middle English savegarde (noun) safe conduct < Middle French salvegarde, sauvegarde. See safe, guard

unsafeguarded, adjective

5. defend, shield. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
safeguard (ˈseɪfˌɡɑːd)
1.  a person or thing that ensures protection against danger, damage, injury, etc
2.  a document authorizing safe-conduct
3.  (tr) to defend or protect

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

1421, "protection, safety," from M.Fr. sauvegarde "safekeeping, safeguard" (13c.), from O.Fr. salve, sauve (fem. of sauf; see safe) + garde "a keeping" (see guard). Meaning "something that offers security from danger" is recorded from 1471. The verb is from 1494.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
To safeguard this cycle, tribes were careful to place the bones of the season's
  first catch back in the river.
Which enemies, if they do but see them and speak to them, it is enough for the
  safeguard of their lives.
At the highest level, to get our political leadership to make the effort that's
  required to safeguard nature.
The bag's designated protective zones safeguard the delicate equipment within.
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