on the safe side

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - on the safe side

"on the safe side"

to be cautious;

to do something that is not necessarily essential but can prevent something unpleasant from happening


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - on the safe side

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: That is one impressive piece of work. That represents a lot of hours of hard work.

Colleague 2: You have uploaded it to the cloud, right?

Colleague 1: Absolutely.

Colleague 2: And have you made a copy on a flash drive?

Colleague 1: Is that really necessary? There is a copy on my computer, on the company cloud and on your computer.

Colleague 2: To be on the safe side, yes, another copy on a flash drive that we can keep off-premises would absolutely safeguard our hard work in the unlucky circumstance of something catastrophic happening at work.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - on the safe side

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: There is only a forty percent chance of rain in the forecast.

Friend 2: Take your umbrella anyways.

Friend 1: Why bother?

Friend 2: Better to play it on the safe side just in case it rains.

Friend 1: I suppose it can't hurt to take an umbrella.

Test Your Understanding  

on the safe side - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   1,106   click for frequency by country

on the safe side - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for on the safe side.

on the safe side - Examples:

1)  To be on the safe side, I grabbed the storage units and slipped them into the cowl.

2)  So, to stay on the safe side and remove any possibility of leaving out one ...

3)  ... can be transmitted through blood to blood contact. So just to be on the safe side, your friend should probably consult his doctor.

4)  ... want to waste a lot of time, you can always err on the safe side and lock down as much as possible. Just visit your privacy settings page.

5)  ... so I tend to stick with the 2x rule just to be on the safe side. There are always processes that require extraordinary amounts of memory.

6)  ... and just to be on the safe side I avoided high traffic area and public transport.

7)  If you really want to err on the safe side, purchase a 64-gigabyte iPod Touch (the largest available storage capacity).

8)  ... in their best interest to keep your idea confidential. Just to be on the safe side, though, describe your product or service in your business plan, but ...

9)  ... risky move, for sure, and probably one he should've played on the safe side.

10)  ... types of questions, like those about benefits and vacation. To be on the safe side, concentrate on questions about the job's responsibilities and how you fit the ...

11)  ... slight chance that quinine causes birth defects, so, to be on the safe side, pregnant women should avoid quinine-containing beverages and drugs.

12)  To be on the safe side, you can disable Java in your browser to prevent malicious applets from running.

13)  ... she pressed the save button once more, just to be on the safe side, then closed the document and shut the computer down.

14)  To always back the status quo, always be on the safe side -- that doesn't lead to good governance internationally.

15)  If you want to be on the safe side, you can export photographic images using Web Safe colors and dithering.

16)  That is why it is always good to be on the safe side and use correct grammar; it helps avoid misunderstandings and general miscommunication.

17)  ... refer to them as the "British." Just to be on the safe side, avoid using the term "English" to describe anyone. Avoid discussing ...

18)  ... damaged, diseased, or dead leaves, remove them. To be on the safe side, throw them in the trash rather than in the compost pile.

19)  Bach said officials were erring on the safe side with today's evacuation orders.

20)  Marriage to a brother's wife was illegal, and to be on the safe side the Pope granted them a dispensation (special permission) to marry.