Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • preposition With the exception of; except.
  • conjunction Were it not; except.
  • conjunction Unless.
  • intransitive verb To rescue from harm, danger, or loss.
  • intransitive verb To prevent from dying.
  • intransitive verb To set free from the consequences of sin; redeem.
  • intransitive verb To keep in a safe or healthy condition.
  • intransitive verb To hold back for future use.
  • intransitive verb To avoid spending (money) so as to keep or accumulate it.
  • intransitive verb To avoid spending (money or time) in an amount less than what circumstances normally require.
  • intransitive verb To prevent the waste or loss of; conserve.
  • intransitive verb To treat with care by avoiding fatigue, wear, or damage; spare.
  • intransitive verb To make unnecessary; obviate.
  • intransitive verb To spare (someone) from having to do something.
  • intransitive verb Sports To prevent (a goal) from being scored by blocking a shot. Used of a goalie.
  • intransitive verb To prevent an opponent from scoring (a point).
  • intransitive verb To preserve a victory in (a game).
  • intransitive verb Baseball To preserve (another pitcher's win) by protecting one's team's lead during a stint of relief pitching.
  • intransitive verb Computers To copy (a file) from a computer's main memory to a disk or other storage medium.
  • intransitive verb To avoid waste or expense; economize.
  • intransitive verb To accumulate money.
  • intransitive verb To preserve a person or thing from harm or loss.
  • noun Sports An act that prevents a ball or puck from entering a goal.
  • noun 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.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The herb sage or salvia.
  • Except; not including; leaving out of account; unless.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete The herb sage, or salvia.
  • conjunction Except; unless.
  • Except; excepting; not including; leaving out; deducting; reserving; saving.
  • transitive verb To make safe; to procure the safety of; to preserve from injury, destruction, or evil of any kind; to rescue from impending danger.
  • transitive verb (Theol.) 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 verb To keep from being spent or lost; to secure from waste or expenditure; to lay up; to reserve.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French sauf, from Latin salvō, ablative sing. of salvus, safe; see sol- in Indo-European roots.]

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.]

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")

Examples

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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.

    Archive 2007-04-01

  • 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

Comments

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  • Contronymic in the sense: exclusion vs. inclusion.

    January 27, 2007

  • The preposition, synonymous with "except."

    May 20, 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

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

    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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    August 9, 2007

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

    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