verb (used with object), saved, sav·ing.

  1. to rescue from danger or possible harm, injury, or loss: to save someone from drowning.
  2. to keep safe, intact, or unhurt; safeguard; preserve: God save the king.
  3. to keep from being lost: to save the game.
  4. to avoid the spending, consumption, or waste of: to save fuel.
  5. to keep, as for reuse: to save leftovers for tomorrow’s dinner.
  6. to set aside, reserve, or lay by: to save money.
  7. to treat carefully in order to reduce wear, fatigue, etc.: to save one’s eyes by reading under proper light.
  8. to prevent the occurrence, use, or necessity of; obviate: to come early in order to save waiting.
  9. Theology. to deliver from the power and consequences of sin.
  10. Computers. to copy (a file) from RAM onto a disk or other storage medium.
  11. Sports. to stop (a ball or puck) from entering one’s goal.

verb (used without object), saved, sav·ing.

  1. to lay up money as the result of economy or thrift.
  2. to be economical in expenditure.
  3. to preserve something from harm, injury, loss, etc.
  4. to admit of being kept without spoiling, as food.


  1. an act or instance of saving, especially in sports.
  2. Baseball. a statistical credit given a relief pitcher for preserving a team’s victory by holding its lead in a game.


  1. (tr) to rescue, preserve, or guard (a person or thing) from danger or harm
  2. to avoid the spending, waste, or loss of (money, possessions, etc)
  3. (tr) to deliver from sin; redeem
  4. (often foll by up) to set aside or reserve (money, goods, etc) for future use
  5. (tr) to treat with care so as to avoid or lessen wear or degenerationuse a good light to save your eyes
  6. (tr) to prevent the necessity for; obviate the trouble ofgood work now will save future revision
  7. (tr) sport to prevent (a goal) by stopping (a struck ball or puck)
  8. (intr) mainly US (of food) to admit of preservation; keep


  1. sport the act of saving a goal
  2. computing an instruction to write information from the memory onto a tape or disk


  1. Also: saving (often foll by for) with the exception of


  1. but; except

adj.“delivered from damnation,” c.1300, past participle adjective from save (v.). Saved by the bell is from 1914 in reference to prize fighting; 1912 in reference to the classroom; figurative use from 1915, probably at first from the fighting sense. v.c.1200, “to deliver from some danger; rescue from peril, bring to safety,” also “prevent the death of;” also theological, “to deliver from sin or its consequences; admit to eternal life; gain salvation,” from Old French sauver “keep (safe), protect, redeem,” from Late Latin salvare “make safe, secure,” from Latin salvus “safe” (see safe (adj.)). From c.1300 as “reserve for future use, hold back, store up instead of spending;” hence “keep possession of” (late 14c.). Save face (1898) first was used among the British community in China and is said to be from Chinese; it has not been found in Chinese, but tiu lien “to lose face” does occur. To not (do something) to save one’s life is recorded from 1848. To save (one’s) breath “cease talking or arguing” is from 1926. the sports sense of “act of preventing opponent from scoring,” 1890, from save (v.). prep.“except,” early 14c., from adjective save, which also was an early variant of safe (adj.), paralleling evolution in Old French sauf “safe,” prepositional use of the adjective, in phrases such as saulve l’honneur “save (our) honor;” also a use in Latin (salva lege, etc.). In addition to the idioms beginning with save

  • saved by the bell
  • save face
  • save for a rainy day
  • save one’s bacon
  • save one’s breath
  • save the day
  • save up
  • also see:

  • penny saved is a penny earned
  • rainy day, save for a
  • scrimp and save
  • to save one’s life
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