|Origin:||sauf, from Latin salvus 'safe, healthy'|
safe1 S2 W2 comparative safer, superlative safest
not likely to cause any physical injury or harm [≠ dangerous]:
not causing harm
Don't go near the edge - it isn't safe.
Flying is one of the safest forms of travel.
a safe working environment
it is safe (for somebody) to do something
Is it safe to swim here?
play-areas that are safe for children
(at/from) a safe distance
We watched from a safe distance.
Drivers should keep a safe distance from the car in front.
Women are safer drivers than men.
not in danger of being lost, harmed, or stolen [≠ unsafe; ↪ safety]:
not in danger[not before noun]
She doesn't feel safe in the house on her own.
The birds' nests are high up, safe from predators.
Make sure you keep these documents safe.
safe and sound/well (=unharmed, especially after being in danger)
The missing children were found safe and sound.
a place where something is not likely to be stolen or lost
keep/put something in a safe place
Keep your credit cards in a safe place.
a journey etc when someone or something is not harmed or lost:
His family celebrated his safe return home.
safe journey British English (=said to someone when they start a long journey)
Dad rang to wish me a safe journey.
not involving any risk and very likely to be successful:
a safe investment
a safe method of contraception
it's safe to say/assume (that)
I think it's safe to say that the future is looking pretty good.
be (as) safe as houses British English (=be completely safe)
a safe subject of conversation is not likely to upset anyone or make people argue:
I kept to safe subjects, like the weather.
to do something in order to be certain to avoid an unpleasant situation:
I'd take an umbrella, just to be on the safe side.
to be with someone who will look after you very well:
Everyone wants to feel that their children are in safe hands.
used to say that it is better to be careful, even if this takes time, effort etc, than take a risk that may have a bad result:
Set the alarm clock - better safe than sorry!
completely certain that something is true or will happen:
She went out, safe in the knowledge that no one else was awake.
someone you can trust to do a difficult job without making mistakes
12 British English spoken informal
used by young people to show approval of something:
'Alex is having a party.' 'Oh, safe!'
used to say that something is good and that there is no problem:
no problemBritish English spoken informal
'How's your new boss?' 'She's safe.'