from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To rescue from harm, danger, or loss.
  • transitive v. To set free from the consequences of sin; redeem.
  • transitive v. To keep in a safe condition; safeguard.
  • transitive v. To prevent the waste or loss of; conserve.
  • transitive v. To avoid spending (money) so as to keep or accumulate it.
  • transitive v. To avoid spending (money or time) in an amount less than what circumstances normally require: saved $25 at the sale; saved 15 minutes by taking a shortcut.
  • transitive v. To set aside for future use; store.
  • transitive v. To treat with care by avoiding fatigue, wear, or damage; spare: save one's eyesight.
  • transitive v. To make unnecessary; obviate: Your taking the trunk to the attic has saved me an extra trip.
  • transitive v. Sports To prevent (a goal) from being scored by an opponent.
  • transitive v. To preserve a victory in (a game).
  • transitive v. Baseball To preserve (another pitcher's win) by protecting one's team's lead during a stint of relief pitching.
  • transitive v. Computer Science To copy (a file) from a computer's main memory to a storage medium.
  • intransitive v. To avoid waste or expense; economize.
  • intransitive v. To accumulate money: saving for a vacation.
  • intransitive v. To preserve a person or thing from harm or loss.
  • n. Sports An act that prevents an opponent from scoring.
  • n. Baseball A preservation by a relief pitcher of another pitcher's win.
  • idiom save (one's) breath To refrain from a futile appeal or effort: Save your breath; you can't dissuade them.
  • prep. With the exception of; except: "No man enjoys self-reproach save a masochist” ( Philip Wylie).
  • conj. Were it not; except: The house would be finished by now, save that we had difficulty contracting a roofer.
  • conj. Unless.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In various sports, a block that prevents an opponent from scoring.
  • n. When a relief pitcher comes into a game with a 3 run or less lead, and his team wins while continually being ahead.
  • n. A point in a professional wrestling match when one or more wrestlers run to the ring to aid a fellow wrestler who is being beaten.
  • n. The act, process, or result of saving data to a storage medium.
  • v. To help (somebody) to survive, or keep (somebody) from harm.
  • v. To keep (something) safe; to safeguard.
  • v. To store for future use.
  • v. To conserve or prevent the wasting of.
  • v. To obviate or make unnecessary.
  • v. To write a file to disk or other storage medium.
  • v. To redeem or protect someone from eternal damnation.
  • v. To economize or avoid waste.
  • v. To accumulate money or valuables.
  • v. To catch or deflect (a shot at goal).
  • prep. Except; with the exception of.
  • conj. unless; except

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Except; excepting; not including; leaving out; deducting; reserving; saving.
  • conj. Except; unless.
  • n. The herb sage, or salvia.
  • intransitive v. To avoid unnecessary expense or expenditure; to prevent waste; to be economical.
  • transitive v. To make safe; to procure the safety of; to preserve from injury, destruction, or evil of any kind; to rescue from impending danger.
  • transitive v. Specifically, to deliver from sin and its penalty; to rescue from a state of condemnation and spiritual death, and bring into a state of spiritual life.
  • transitive v. To keep from being spent or lost; to secure from waste or expenditure; to lay up; to reserve.
  • transitive v. To rescue from something undesirable or hurtful; to prevent from doing something; to spare.
  • transitive v. To hinder from doing, suffering, or happening; to obviate the necessity of; to prevent; to spare.
  • transitive v. To hold possession or use of; to escape loss of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To preserve from danger, injury, loss, destruction, or evil of any kind; wrest or keep from impending danger; rescue: as, to save a house from burning, or a man from drowning; to save a family from ruin.
  • To deliver from the power and penal consequences of sin; rescue from sin and spiritual death.
  • To deliver; defend.
  • To spare: as, to save one's self much trouble and expense.
  • To use or preserve with frugal care; keep fresh or good, as for future use; husband: as, to save one's clothes; to save one's strength for a final effort.
  • To avoid, curtail, or lessen; especially, to lessen waste in or of; economize: as, to save time, expense, or labor.
  • To lay by, little by little, and as the result of frugal care; lay up; hoard: as, he has saved quite a good sum out of his scanty earnings.
  • To take advantage of; utilize; avoid missing or losing; be in time for; catch: as, to save the tide.
  • To prevent the occurrence, use, or necessity of; obviate: as, a stitch in time saves nine.
  • Synonyms and To redeem.
  • To protect.
  • To be economical; keep from spending; spare.
  • To be capable of preservation: said of fish: as, to save well.
  • Except; not including; leaving out of account; unless.
  • n. The herb sage or salvia.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. retain rights to
  • n. (sports) the act of preventing the opposition from scoring
  • v. make unnecessary an expenditure or effort
  • v. spend sparingly, avoid the waste of
  • v. refrain from harming
  • v. accumulate money for future use
  • v. to keep up and reserve for personal or special use
  • v. spend less; buy at a reduced price
  • v. bring into safety
  • v. save from ruin, destruction, or harm
  • v. save from sins
  • v. record data on a computer


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English saven, from Old French sauver, from Late Latin salvāre, from Latin salvus, safe; see sol- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English, from Old French sauf, from Latin salvō, ablative sing. of salvus, safe; see sol- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

(First attested 1175–1225) From Middle English saven, sauven, from Old French sauver, from Late Latin salvāre ("to save")


  • The Real Madrid keeper only let two goals by him in seven games, and no save was bigger than Casillas 'save on Robben's breakaway.

    Oliver Haydock: Team of the Tournament and Top Five Goals at the World Cup

  • Instead of a desperate search to find the one great idea that will save us from ecological disaster, we are being invited to a transformation of individual and social goals that will bring us closer to the reality of interdependent life in a variegated world – whether or not we find we can 'save the planet '.

    Act local as well as national urges Archbishop

  • The ratio is not 'save a life or not; 'it's 'save this life or save dozens of others next year.'

    Michael Smerconish: Death Penalty Deters

  • He goes on to say that in his universe Claire the cheerleader is dead, so when he traveled back in time to meet with Peter and ask him to 'save the cheerleader and save the world' he may have changed the sequence of events.

    "Heroes" Spoilers: Has NBC Revealed Exploding Man?

  • Layout made and coded by Stephanie. (c) haha 'save the tv season, save the cheerleader 'yup yet another article! haha this one made me laugh at first cos hey strikes are amusing! but then when i read the related articles i realised we (or at least just me) will be seriously affected by it =/

    ianthopia Diary Entry

  • I'll never forget the day when I tried to knock my brains out on the dark cement floor, but couldn't; so I cried, 'O God! if there is a God, and some of these missionary folk that come here say there is a God, and a Christ what can save, _save me, save me, please save me_!

    Fifteen Years with the Outcast

  • For as far as the words go, it is lawful to say: 'St. Peter, pity me, save me, open for me the gate of heaven'; also, 'Give me health of body, patience, fortitude', etc., provided that we mean 'save and pity me by praying for me ';' grant me this or that by thy prayers and merits. '

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time _save_ Slavery, I do not agree with them.

    Lincoln's Inaugurals, Addresses and Letters (Selections)

  • Lindsay Lohan's dad calls cops to 'save his daughters 'LINDSAY Lohan's dad turned up at the star's home today night flanked with cops - saying it was a bid to save his daughters. | Top Stories

  • Companies are trying to adapt to new consumer philosophies like 'value for lower prices,' 'Go Green, save the world' or even 'save on energy, 'and in doing so many have started their own concept like News Articles


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I'm pretty sure it's in the Talmud. If you press me further, I'm lost.

    July 25, 2009

  • When you save one life, you save the world entire.

    -quote: not sure who by.

    July 25, 2009

  • Thanks, Reese. =)

    June 29, 2008

  • Heehee. Welcome back, Evin.

    June 28, 2008

  • I never imagined this would cause such a stir! (Save for my sparse instances of clairvoyance.)

    June 28, 2008

  • Eh, you'll only do that when I get bored and want to make things interesting for myself.

    August 9, 2007

  • And just wait until I start in on the word fancy!

    August 9, 2007

  • Oooh, I hadn't thought of that!

    August 9, 2007

  • As long as the entire universe remains in my imagination, I have nothing to fear. Unidefinitional save shall prevail!

    August 9, 2007

  • I may be you, but you get none of my suitcase space. I need it for souvenirs. And keep to your side of the armrest!

    Watch out! Slumry's set for a coup while you/I/we/us are away. ;-)

    August 9, 2007

  • Invective and spleen and treason too? Wow! Am I a Wordie heretic? Will I be burned on a pyre?

    I will join with my conbrethren and found the Savesave sect.

    August 9, 2007

  • Say what? I'm leaving for a week's vacation on Saturday! You're not following me, are you? Oh wait, I forgot about solipsism... you ARE me. And slumry, your comment is tantamount to treason. Don't cross the Languagemaster.

    August 9, 2007

  • Well, make it quick. I'm leaving for a week's vacation on Saturday. I can only beg forgiveness for another day or so.

    August 9, 2007

  • Stuff and nonsense! Eyewash! Save is a perfectly fine preposition, having evolved in parallel with the other sense of save. It does mean except.

    As for having cofusingly contranymic meanings, that is just balderdash. It may be a near-contranym, but in practice it would take a real dunderhead to fail to understand the two meanings.

    August 9, 2007

  • I will... but not yet. I'm still trying to think of a suitable penance. ;-)

    August 9, 2007

  • Right. I keep forgetting that. Forgive me, Oh Mighty Languagemaster.

    August 9, 2007

  • Language is what I say it is. If you're speaking English, it's only by my generosity that you're allowed to do so.

    August 9, 2007

  • I don't use "save" this way myself, but if you read it as meaning "all but," it could be properly used to mean except.

    Then again, it doesn't sound like you accept that definition, uselessness. ;-)

    August 9, 2007

  • Oroboros' observation below is correct, and a perfect reason why this definition shouldn't be used. See my comment on the word fancy (speaking of which) for a similar gripe. The word "save" doesn't mean anything like except, and its use in that way is just bizarre, in the same way fancy has nothing to do with like!

    August 9, 2007

  • Oh, but it just sounds so fancy! :P

    August 9, 2007

  • I never did like that use of the word, it just sounds too contrived. But sometimes when writing I'm forced to use it for the sake of flow.

    May 21, 2007

  • The preposition, synonymous with "except."

    May 20, 2007

  • Contronymic in the sense: exclusion vs. inclusion.

    January 27, 2007