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It is best to be on the safe side

Possible interpretation: 1) Don't take risks. Be careful and cautious. 2) It's best to be sure. It's best to be absolutely certain.

For example:

  • My doctor says he doesn't think I've broken any bones but it's best to be on the safe side and have an x-ray.

  • I feel pretty healthy but just to be on the safe side I asked my doctor for a check-up.

Note: The phrase "(just) to be on the safe side" is often used alone, as above.

Quick Quiz:

"It is best to be on the safe side" just to
  1. be 100% sure
  2. to avoid oncoming traffic
  3. take a risk

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