"to guard, protect, keep secure from danger," mid-15c., from safeguard (n.). Related: Safeguarded; safeguarding.
late 14c., sauf-gard, "protection, security, defense," from Old French sauve garde "safekeeping, safeguard" (13c.), from salve, sauve (fem. of sauf; see safe (adj.)) + garde "a keeping" (see guard (n.)). Meaning "one who protects, something that offers security from danger" is recorded from late 15c.
early 14c., savete, "freedom or immunity from harm or danger; an unharmed or uninjured state or condition," from Old French sauvete, salvete "safety, safeguard; salvation; security, surety," earlier salvetet (11c., Modern French sauveté), from Medieval Latin salvitatem (nominative salvitas) "safety," from Latin salvus "uninjured, in good health, safe" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept"). From late 14c. as "means or instrument of safety, a safeguard."
The meaning "trigger-lock on a gun" is attested by 1881, perhaps short for safety-lock (1877), etc. As a North American football position, by 1931; as a type of score against one's own team, 1881.
Safety-valve, which diminishes the risk of explosion, is from 1797; figurative sense recorded from 1818. Safety-net in literal sense (in machinery) is by 1916, later of aerial circus performances (1920s); figurative use is by 1950. Safety-bicycle as a name for the modern type, with low, equal-sized wheels and a driving mechanism, is by 1866. Safety-razor is by 1877. A safety-belt (1840) was at first for window washers and firefighters; it was used of restraining straps for airplane pilots by 1911, extended to automobiles by 1948. Safety first as an accident-prevention slogan first recorded 1873.
Safety first, and saving of fuel second, should be the rule in steam engineering. [Scientific American, June 15, 1861]
c. 1200, safroun, "product made from the dried stigmas of flowers of the autumn crocus," from Old French safran (12c.), from Medieval Latin safranum (cognate with Italian zafferano, Spanish azafran), ultimately from Arabic az-za'faran, which is of unknown origin. The substance is noted for its sweet aroma and deep orange color. As a color word for deep yellow-orange, and an adjective, by late 14c. In reference to the crocus plant itself from early 15c. German Safran is from French; Russian shafran' is from Arabic. Related: Saffrony (adj.).
late 14c., saggen, "hang down unevenly," also in Middle English "sink, be mired, sink down," possibly from a Scandinavian source related to Old Norse sokkva "to sink," or from Middle Low German sacken "to settle, sink" (as dregs in wine), from denasalized derivative of Proto-Germanic base *senkwanan "to sink" (see sink (v.)). A general North Sea Germanic word (compare Dutch zakken, Swedish sacka, Danish sakke). Of body parts by 1560s; of clothes by 1590s. Of other objects, "to droop, especially in the middle, as from weight or pressure" is by 1777. Related: Sagged; sagging.
"a bending or drooping," 1580s, in nautical use, "movement to leeward," from sag (v.). From 1727 in American English in reference to landforms having a sunken look. By 1861 in reference to droop from slackness in wires, cables, etc.
1709, "ancient Scandinavian legend of considerable length," an antiquarians' revival to describe the medieval prose narratives of Iceland and Norway, from Old Norse saga "saga, story," cognate with Old English sagu "a saying" (see saw (n.2)).
Properly a long narrative composition of Iceland or Norway in the Middle Ages featuring heroic adventure and fantastic journeys, or one that has their characteristics. The extended meaning "long, convoluted story" is by 1857.