use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

To look up an entry in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, use the search window above. For best results, after typing in the word, click on the “Search” button instead of using the “enter” key.

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you type them in the search bar. For best results with compound words, place a quotation mark before the compound word in the search window.

guide to the dictionary

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. Annual surveys have gauged the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY BLOG

The articles in our blog examine new words, revised definitions, interesting images from the fifth edition, discussions of usage, and more.

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

save 1 (sāv)
Share:
v. saved, sav·ing, saves
v.tr.
1.
a. To rescue from harm, danger, or loss: The lifeguard saved the struggling swimmer.
b. To prevent from dying: The doctors saved the patient.
c. To set free from the consequences of sin; redeem: prayed to save his soul.
2. To keep in a safe or healthy condition: God save King Richard!
3.
a. To hold back for future use: saved his best song for the encore.
b. To avoid spending (money) so as to keep or accumulate it.
c. 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.
d. To prevent the waste or loss of; conserve: bought an efficient device that saves electricity.
e. To treat with care by avoiding fatigue, wear, or damage; spare: wore sunglasses to save his eyesight.
4.
a. To make unnecessary; obviate: By carrying two bags you can save an extra trip.
b. To spare (someone) from having to do something.
5.
a. Sports To prevent (a goal) from being scored by blocking a shot. Used of a goalie.
b. To prevent an opponent from scoring (a point).
c. To preserve a victory in (a game).
d. Baseball To preserve (another pitcher's win) by protecting one's team's lead during a stint of relief pitching.
6. Computers To copy (a file) from a computer's main memory to a disk or other storage medium.
v.intr.
1. To avoid waste or expense; economize.
2. To accumulate money: saving for a vacation.
3. To preserve a person or thing from harm or loss.
n.
1. Sports An act that prevents a ball or puck from entering a goal.
2. 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.

[Middle English saven, from Old French sauver, from Late Latin salvāre, from Latin salvus, safe; see sol- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

sava·ble, savea·ble adj.
saver n.

Synonyms: save1, rescue, reclaim, redeem, deliver
These verbs mean freeing a person or thing from danger, evil, confinement, or servitude. Save is the most general: The smallpox vaccine has saved many lives. A police officer saved the tourist from being cheated. Rescue usually implies saving from immediate harm or danger by direct action: rescue a rare manuscript from a fire. Reclaim can mean to bring a person back, as from error to virtue or to right or proper conduct: "To reclaim me from this course of life was the sole cause of his journey to London" (Henry Fielding).
To redeem is to free someone from captivity or the consequences of sin or error; the term can imply the expenditure of money or effort: The amount paid to redeem the captured duke was enormous. Deliver applies to liberating people from something such as captivity, misery, or peril: "consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them" (George Washington).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.