play safe

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play safe

To not take any unwarranted risks or dangers; to act with caution and prudence. Despite the initial popularity of their product, the company has been playing safe, deciding not to ramp up production until they are sure momentum will continue. I think you should have your car looked at by a mechanic before your big road trip. Better to play safe than end up stuck in the middle of nowhere!
See also: play, safe
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

play safe

BRITISH or

play it safe

COMMON If you play safe or play it safe, you do not take any risks. If you want to play safe, cut down on the amount of salt you eat. Big tourist hotels tend to play safe with bland international menus. The pilot decided that Christchurch was too far away, and played it safe, landing at Wellington.
See also: play, safe
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

play (or play it) safe (or for safety)

take precautions; avoid risks.
See also: play, safe
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

play (it) ˈsafe

avoid danger; act safely, even if another course of action would be quicker, more successful, etc: I know all these locks seem unnecessary but I believe it’s always better to play safe. OPPOSITE: take a risk
See also: play, safe
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
He could have played safe, and that would have meant being silent.
U2 Achtung Baby This was meant to be the year when U2 released two new albums, but following the critical annihilation of the Batman musical they've played safe with a remastered Achtung Baby available in five different formats, including a deluxe 10-disc pack.
"I did well, I played safe, I played focused all the time and Philipp tried to play more aggressive for a few moments but he made more mistakes than usual and that helped me a little bit.
"I've never played safe with my image - people don't understand my capacity to laugh at myself."
Jim Watkins and Stephen Boyd both played safe in going for for a short-priced nap, Succession, but were rewarded with a 4-5 winner to take them further clear in their respective head-to-heads.
Instead of going for the oppositions' throats Triumph played safe and the public was not impressed.