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[shoo r-i-tee, shoo r-tee, shur-i-tee, shur-tee] /ˈʃʊər ɪ ti, ˈʃʊər ti, ˈʃɜr ɪ ti, ˈʃɜr ti/
noun, plural sureties.
security against loss or damage or for the fulfillment of an obligation, the payment of a debt, etc.; a pledge, guaranty, or bond.
a person who has made himself or herself responsible for another, as a sponsor, godparent, or bondsman.
the state or quality of being sure.
something that makes sure; ground of confidence or safety.
a person who is legally responsible for the debt, default, or delinquency of another.
assurance, especially self-assurance.
Origin of surety
1300-50; Middle English surte < Middle French; Old French seurte < Latin sēcūritāt-, stem of sēcūritās security
Related forms
oversurety, noun
subsurety, noun, plural subsureties. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for surety
Historical Examples
  • "I refuse to accept your surety, for your own sake," said the Marchese.

    Casanova's Homecoming Arthur Schnitzler
  • When I ask him to be my surety for a couple of hundred thousand crowns?

    The Great Hunger Johan Bojer
  • A friend of his wife's was his surety; such things often happen.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • He gave me the right to sequestrate his pay by way of surety.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • Let them but admit it to me and of a surety I will fling them into imprisonment!

  • You may have a double in the wings, of course, but even that provides no surety.

    The Making Of A Novelist David Christie Murray
  • surety, father, you do not think him in danger of relapsing into the worship of his ancestors?

    The Pioneers James Fenimore Cooper
  • And, of a surety, I am richer by far than the goddess who has but one daughter and one son.

    A Book of Myths Jean Lang
  • I never had much faith (if I dare make so free) in the surety of our retreat here.

    John Splendid Neil Munro
  • The second surety might prove to be any sort of worthless fellow.

    The Calico Cat Charles Miner Thompson
British Dictionary definitions for surety


/ˈʃʊətɪ; ˈʃʊərɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
a person who assumes legal responsibility for the fulfilment of another's debt or obligation and himself becomes liable if the other defaults
security given against loss or damage or as a guarantee that an obligation will be met
(obsolete) the quality or condition of being sure
(obsolete) a means of assurance or safety
stand surety, to act as a surety
Derived Forms
suretyship, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French seurte, from Latin sēcūritāssecurity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for surety

c.1300, from Old French seurté, from Latin securitatem (nominative securitas) "freedom from care or danger, safety, security," from securus (see secure). Until 1966, the French national criminal police department was the Sûreté nationale.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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