surety

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman seurté, from Latin securitas, securitatem.

Noun[edit]

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surety (countable and uncountable, plural sureties)

  1. certainty
    • Bible, Genesis xv. 13
      Know of a surety, that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs.
    • Sir Philip Sidney
      For the more surety they looked round about.
  2. That which makes sure; that which confirms; ground of confidence or security.
    • Milton
      [We] our happy state / Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds; / On other surety none.
  3. (law) A promise to pay a sum of money in the event that another person fails to fulfill an obligation.
    • Shakespeare
      There remains unpaid / A hundred thousand more; in surety of the which / One part of Aquitaine is bound to us.# (law) One who undertakes to pay money or perform other acts in the event that his principal fails therein.
    • Bible, Proverbs xi. 15
      He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it.
  4. A substitute; a hostage.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Cowper to this entry?)
  5. Evidence; confirmation; warrant.
    • Shakespeare
      She called the saints to surety, / That she would never put it from her finger, / Unless she gave it to yourself.

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]