Alright, we’ve mentioned the phrase “What is safety?” a thousand times now, but what does safety really mean? Let’s look into the official meaning and definition of safety.
There are many interpretations of the word “safety” that depend on the context of where it is actually used.
Let’s look into the official Merriam-Webster definition of the word. Accrording to this dictionary, “safety” is:
- The condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury, or loss.
Here is what this really means:
- Safety is the condition of avoiding causing or feeling hurt, injury or loss. An example of such a meaning would be “I feel safe around him”, meaning that a person feels like she is avoiding feeling hurt or getting injured when another person is being present, who provides that feeling of protection.
Another definition is that of using the word as a noun:
- A device (as on a weapon or a machine) designed to prevent inadvertent or hazardous operation.
This basically means:
- “Safety” can be used to name an object whose whole purpose is to prevent or discourage operation of a dangerous weapon or machine without explicit intent to do so. An example usage is “He disabled the safety on the pistol before he shot 5 rounds at the target”.
Finally, the third definition of safety is that of a situation in a game of football:
- Safety is a situation in football in which a member of the offensive team is tackled behind its own goal line that counts two points for the defensive team.
In layman’s terms, this means:
- “Safety” can reffer to a situation in football that is similar to “own goal” in other team sports. It happens when an opponent in possesion of the ball is tackeled in his own end zone. For example, “A safety is usually a team’s last line of defense in football”
Being able to interpret meanings of words such as “safe” and “safety” is a critical skill when learning to speak English. In fact, “safe” and “safety” are part of the top 2,000 most common words in English language. These words are part of the General Service List (also known as GSL), which is basically a set of 2,000 words that are most critical for learners of English language, no matter if you speak Chinese or Indian natively.
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