better (to be) safe than sorry

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

better safe than sorry

or

it's better to be safe than sorry

COMMON People say better safe than sorry or it's better to be safe than sorry to mean that it is good to be careful, even if it may not seem necessary, in order to avoid problems. I think you should stay in hospital another day or two — better safe than sorry, right? Never take chances with electrical equipment of any kind — it's better to be safe than sorry! Note: People also say that they would rather be safe than sorry. We were surprised by the level of security. `I'd rather be safe than sorry,' she explained.
See also: better, safe, sorry
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

better safe than sorry

it's wiser to be cautious and careful than to be hasty or rash and so do something that you may later regret.
Apparently the expression is quite recent in this form (mid 20th century); better be sure than sorry is recorded from the mid 19th century.
1998 New Scientist The meeting is to be commended for taking a ‘better safe than sorry’ attitude, and drawing up a baseline list of measures to be put in place when disease breaks out.
See also: better, safe, sorry
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌbetter (to be) ˌsafe than ˈsorry

(saying) it is better to be too careful than to do something careless that you may later regret: We’d better fill the car up with petrol now. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
See also: better, safe, sorry
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

better safe than sorry

Proceed carefully so as to be sure to get there. This cautionary formula dates from the early nineteenth century, when it was phrased “better sure than sorry,” and became a cliché in the mid-twentieth century. The idea, of course, is much older. Thomas Ravenscroft in 1695 wrote, “It’s good to be sure.”
See also: better, safe, sorry
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
We must follow traffic rules, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
If that is the case, then it is always better to be safe than sorry and this is where the $299.95 Virus Eliminating Desk Lamp comes in handy.
He added: "It's a simple scan that can show if you have a problem so it's much better to be safe than sorry."
IT may well be that thousands of holidaymakers have seen their plans ruined by the Icelandic volcanic ash but, as the old saying goes, it's better to be safe than sorry.
If ignored, it can be serious, but it is easy to treat so it is better to be safe than sorry. I get really bad tension headaches when I am at work.
It's better to be safe than sorry and the last thing we wanted was a dog smashing into the rail."
Although there will be those who will scream "Big Brother", it's better to be safe than sorry.
"I would urge anyone who suffers chest pain not to hesitate in calling 999 - it's much better to be safe than sorry."
It is better to be safe than sorry and protect yourself as well as the patient.
The EU adheres to precautionary principle, the age-old idea that it's "better to be safe than sorry" when there are reasonable concerns that a potential hazard may negatively impact the environment or health, even if it is not definitively proven yet.
"We have not had any incident involving any injury to a child, however it is better to be safe than sorry, and so we have produced this simple poster giving a timely warning to parents to make sure children are kept well back from the platform edge."
A DECONGESTANTS do pose some risk to people with heart conditions and, therefore, it is probably better to be safe than sorry and avoid them.
Eventually he did move it under duress, but we are told to report these things as it's better to be safe than sorry
It's better to be safe than sorry, so try to persuade him to see the doctor.
It's better to be safe than sorry: There's a sadness in the measure being taken by councils in clamping down on the use of mobiles at leisure centres.
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