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[seyf-tee] /ˈseɪf ti/
noun, plural safeties.
the state of being safe; freedom from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss.
the quality of averting or not causing injury, danger, or loss.
a contrivance or device to prevent injury or avert danger.
Also called lock, safety catch, safety lock. a locking or cutoff device that prevents a gun from being fired accidentally.
the action of keeping safe.
  1. an act or play in which a player on the offensive team is tackled in his own end zone or downs the ball there, or in which the ball goes out of bounds on a fumble, having last been in bounds in or over the end zone and having last been in the possession of an offensive player.
    Compare touchback.
  2. an award of two points to the opposing team on this play.
  3. Also called safety man. a player on defense who lines up farthest behind the line of scrimmage.
Baseball. a base hit, especially a one-base hit.
Slang. a condom.
Obsolete. close confinement or custody.
1250-1300; Middle English sauvete < Middle French. See safe, -ty2
Related forms
self-safety, noun
supersafety, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for safety
  • Government health and safety regulators rarely impose new costs on businesses.
  • Not a single particle leaked radioactive material-strong evidence of the fuel's safety.
  • If enacted, chemical companies would be required to demonstrate the safety of their products before marketing them.
  • We fully support people's right to protest, but there are things you'll want to avoid doing for your safety and others'.
  • Fears about the safety of mobile phones are overdone.
  • Students will read about the basics of tornado safety.
  • We are thankful for our safety though, and our thoughts are with those affected by this devastating earthquake.
  • For safety reasons, make sure the point of the pin is always covered.
  • Our current obsession with thin has caused some problems with respect to safety.
  • Synthetic pesticides pose a range of risks to human health and safety.
British Dictionary definitions for safety


noun (pl) -ties
the quality of being safe
freedom from danger or risk of injury
a contrivance or device designed to prevent injury
(American football)
  1. Also called safetyman. either of two players who defend the area furthest back in the field
  2. a play in which the offensive team causes the ball to cross its own goal line and then grounds the ball behind that line, scoring two points for the opposing team Compare touchback
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for safety

early 14c., from Old French sauvete "safety, safeguard; salvation; security, surety," earlier salvetet (11c., Modern French sauveté), from Medieval Latin salvitatem (nominative salvitas) "safety," from Latin salvus (see safe (adj.)). Meaning "trigger-lock on a gun" is attested from 1881.

As a North American football position, first recorded 1931. As a type of score against one's own team, 1881. Safety-valve, which diminishes the risk of explosion, is from 1797; figurative sense recorded from 1818. Safety-net in literal sense (in machinery) by 1916, later of aerial circus performances (1920s); figurative use by 1950. Safety-first as an accident-prevention slogan first recorded 1873.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for safety


n,n phr

A condom; french letter, rubber (1897+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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safety in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for safety


Sun Awareness for Educating Today's Youth
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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