safe

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safe bet

1. Something that is certain to occur. Based on his grades, it's a pretty safe bet that Harry won't be able to graduate on time.
2. A person or thing that is certain to be good or successful. The department felt that she was a safe bet for the account manager position.
See also: bet, safe

safe pair of hands

A trustworthy and competent person. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. That struggling company really needs a leader who is a safe pair of hands and can make some positive changes.
See also: hand, of, pair, safe

be as safe as houses

To be protected. The phrase alludes to the idea of "home" as a safe haven or shelter. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I locked your jewelry in a drawer, so it's as safe as houses.
See also: house, safe

be in safe hands

To be cared for by a responsible or trustworthy person or group. I just got recertified in first aid, so your kids are in safe hands with me. I thought our retirement fund was in safe hands—until our broker fled the country in disgrace!
See also: hand, safe

NSFW

An abbreviation for "not safe/suitable for work." It typically accompanies online posts, articles, or videos that might be considered racy or otherwise inappropriate in the workplace. Unless you want the boss to yell at you, don't click on that link that says "NSFW."

not safe for work

A phrase (often abbreviated as "NSFW") that typically accompanies online posts, articles, or videos that might be considered racy or otherwise inappropriate in the workplace.
See also: not, safe, work

safe space

A place where one will not encounter mistreatment, discrimination, and, in some cases, words or activities that could trigger reminders of past psychological trauma. The campus needs a safe space for the LGBTQ community. Is there a safe space for trauma victims to go after that lecture on human trafficking?
See also: safe, space

better (to be) safe than sorry

It is better to expend the time or effort to be cautious with one's actions than to feel regret about one's carelessness later. It might be nothing, but you should take your car to the mechanic right away—better to be safe than sorry. I was so nervous about oversleeping that I set three alarms. Better safe than sorry, you know?
See also: better, safe, sorry

Better (be) safe than sorry.

Prov. Cliché You should be cautious—if you are not, you may regret it. It may be time-consuming to check the oil in your car every time you buy gasoline, but better safe than sorry. Bob: I don't need a tetanus shot just because I stepped on a nail. Mary: I still think you should get one. Better be safe than sorry.
See also: better, safe, sorry

Have a safe trip.

 and Have a safe journey.
I hope that your journey is safe.; Be careful and assure that your journey is safe. (Said as someone is about to leave for a trip.) Bill: Well, we're off for London. Sally: Have a safe trip. Bill: You're driving all the way to San Francisco? Bob: Yes, indeed. Bill: Well, have a safe trip.
See also: have, safe, trip

in good hands

Fig. in the safe, competent care of someone. Don't worry. Your children are in good hands. Sally is an experienced baby-sitter. Your car is in good hands. My mechanics are factory-trained.
See also: good, hand

on the safe side

Fig. taking the risk-free path. Let's be on the safe side and call first. I think you should stay on the safe side and call the doctor about this fever.
See also: on, safe, side

play it safe

to be or act safe; to avoid taking a risk. You should play it safe and take your umbrella. If you have a cold or the flu, play it safe and go to bed.
See also: play, safe

safe and sound

unharmed and whole or healthy. It was a rough trip, but we got there safe and sound. I'm glad to see you here safe and sound.
See also: and, safe, sound

to be on the safe side

to be safe; to be cautious; [to do something just] in case it is necessary; to be very well prepared. To be on the safe side, carry some extra money in your shoe. I like to be on the safe side and stay in my hotel room at night.
See also: on, safe, side

to be safe

to be cautious; to be careful; [to do something just] in case it is necessary; to be very well prepared. Just to be safe, you should take some extra water with you. Other people like to drive over the speed limit, but I prefer to be safe.
See also: safe

Your secret is safe with me.

I will not tell your secret to anyone. Don't worry. I won't tell. Your secret's safe with me. Your secret is safe with me. I will carry it to my grave.
See also: safe, secret

better safe than sorry

(spoken)
being careful is probably more desirable than risking a bad result Concerned about the attacks, he sent his son out of the village, figuring, better safe than sorry.
See also: better, safe, sorry

in good hands

also in safe hands
managed or cared for with great attention I'm just glad to know that our money's in such good hands. Nothing gives parents greater comfort than knowing their children are in safe hands.
See also: good, hand

play it safe

to avoid any risk I like to play it safe with my investments. Once you have the ball, you can decide whether you want to be aggressive or play it safe.
See also: play, safe

safe and sound

not hurt After three days of searching for them, the hikers were found safe and sound.
See also: and, safe, sound

(just) to be on the safe side

so that you can prevent something unpleasant from happening Just to be on the safe side, ask your doctor to test your iron levels.
See also: on, safe, side

a safe bet

  (British, American & Australian) also a sure bet (American)
1. something that you are certain will happen It's a safe bet that those two will settle down and have children. Wheeler is a sure bet for a place on the team.
2. someone or something that you are certain will win or succeed She is still a safe bet for re-election. Simplicity of design is a sure bet in the fashion world.
See also: bet, safe

Better (to be) safe than sorry.

something that you say which means it is best not to take risks even if it seems boring or hard work to be careful I'll hold the ladder while you climb up. Better safe than sorry.
See also: better, safe, sorry

play (it) safe

  (informal)
to be careful and not take risks We decided to play safe and paint the walls a fairly neutral colour. They're playing it safe by not investing too much money until they've seen the first year's accounts.
See also: play, safe

a safe pair of hands

  (British & Australian)
someone who you can trust to do an important job well without making mistakes He's what this troubled club needs, a good, solid manager, a safe pair of hands.
See also: hand, of, pair, safe

be as safe as houses

  (British & Australian)
to be very safe Don't worry, I've locked your bicycle in the shed - it's as safe as houses.
See also: house, safe

be in safe hands

if someone or something is in safe hands, they are being looked after by someone who can be trusted I know my daughter's in safe hands at the nursery.
See also: hand, safe

safe and sound

if you are safe and sound, you are not harmed in any way, although you were in a dangerous situation It was a difficult drive but we all arrived safe and sound.
See also: and, safe, sound

to be on the safe side

if you do something to be on the safe side, you do something that may not be necessary in order to protect yourself against possible problems I don't think there are any broken bones, but you should have an X-ray just to be on the safe side.
See a safe bet, Better safe than sorry, play safe
See also: on, safe, side

better safe than sorry

Being careful may avoid disaster, as in I'm not taking any short-cuts-better safe than sorry. This cautionary phrase appeared as better sure than sorry in 1837.
See also: better, safe, sorry

in good hands

In competent or safe care. For example, I know the children are in good hands when they visit my mother. The term good hand has been used in the sense of "skill" or "ability" since the late 1300s.
See also: good, hand

on the safe side

Avoiding danger, with a margin for error, as in Just to be on the safe side, let's order another hundred chairs. This idiom was first recorded in 1811.
See also: on, safe, side

play it safe

Also, play safe. Avoid extreme risks, as in I played it safe and bet only a dollar, or Let's play safe and get a backup in case the announced speaker gets sick. [c. 1900]
See also: play, safe

safe and sound

Out of danger and unharmed, as in It was a challenging climb, so I'm relieved they got home safe and sound. [c. 1300]
See also: and, safe, sound

safe as houses

Totally secure, as in If you buy Treasury bonds, your money will be safe as houses but you won't get a large return . In today's security-conscious climate, where alarm systems to deter housebreaks have become increasingly common, this simile may seem puzzling. Presumably it uses house in the sense of "a shelter from the elements." [Late 1800s]
See also: house, safe

on the safe side

mod. taking the risk-free path. Let’s be on the safe side and call first.
See also: on, safe, side
References in classic literature ?
Thank Heaven, you are safe again; that alone removes the weight of a world from my spirit
Sabin said, "to try and make every corner of the earth safe.
The first clause provided for the safe keeping and support of his animals.
Here I am, with the Diamond safe and sound-- and what is the first news that meets me?
Your father put it in the safe keeping of a bank in London.
If you accept the service I tender, Miss Haredale, she shall be instantly placed in safe conduct, and that promise redeemed.
The outer room through which they had to pass, was full of men; among them, Mr Dennis in safe keeping; and there, had been since yesterday, lying in hiding behind a wooden screen which was now thrown down, Simon Tappertit, the recreant 'prentice, burnt and bruised, and with a gun-shot wound in his body; and his legs--his perfect legs, the pride and glory of his life, the comfort of his existence--crushed into shapeless ugliness.
A coach was ready at the door, and Dolly found herself safe and whole inside, between her father and mother, with Emma Haredale and her uncle, quite real, sitting opposite.
That sum of money, young Tom locked in his safe, not a very strong safe, but that's no matter now.
said the exasperated Bounderby, 'while he was snoring, or choking, or Dutch-clocking, or something or other - being asleep - some fellows, somehow, whether previously concealed in the house or not remains to be seen, got to young Tom's safe, forced it, and abstracted the contents.
We are quite safe now, and have nothing to fear indeed, dear grandfather,' she said.
Then how,' said the old man, looking fearfully round, 'how can you bear to think that we are safe, when they are searching for me everywhere, and may come here, and steal upon us, even while we're talking?
NEW YORK, April 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- About Safes and Vaults Safes and vaults provide security from threats such as fire and burglary.
The crackers are baked into cubes that look like little safes.
While the sale of many firearms and related products is on the slow side, safes are selling extremely well with profit margins in the 30 to 40 percent range.