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From Old French sauveté, from an earlier salvetet, from Medieval Latin salvitas, salvitatem, from Latin salvus.



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safety (countable and uncountable, plural safeties)

  1. The condition or feeling of being safe; security; certainty.
    If you push it to the limit, safety is not guaranteed.
    • 2016 May 15, John Oliver, chapter 911, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 3, episode 12, HBO:
      Oh, oh! “Go to safety”! Why didn’t I think of that⁉ Here I am in danger when, really, I could simply be going to safety! I shouldn’t have wasted your time by calling in the first place!
  2. (mechanics) A mechanism on a weapon or dangerous equipment designed to prevent accidental firing.
    Be sure that the safety is set before proceeding.
  3. (American football) An instance of a player being sacked or tackled in the end zone, or steps out of the end zone and off the field, resulting in two points for the opposite team.
    He sacked the quarterback in the end zone for a safety.
  4. (American football) Any of the defensive players who are in position furthest from the line of scrimmage and whose responsibility is to defend against passes as well as to be the tacklers of last resort.
    The free safety made a game-saving tackle on the runner who had broken past the linebackers.
  5. Preservation from escape; close custody.
    • Shakespeare
      Imprison him, [] / Deliver him to safety; and return.
  6. (dated) A safety bicycle.
    • 1897, American Architect and Architecture (volumes 57-58, page 51)
      Many wheelmen and wheelwomen, riding safeties, tandems and tricycles, stopped there during the evening and we had good opportunity for comparing American and English bicycles []


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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

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safety (third-person singular simple present safeties, present participle safetying, simple past and past participle safetied)

  1. (transitive) To secure (a mechanical component, as in aviation) to keep it from becoming detached even under vibration.