From Middle English surete, attested since the early 1300s in the sense "guarantee, promise, pledge, assurance", from Anglo-Norman seurté/Old French seurté with the same meaning (whence modern French sûreté), from Latin sēcūritās. Equivalent to sure + -ty. The senses "security, safety, stability" and "certainy" are attested since the late 1300s. "One who undertakes to pay if another does not" is from the early 1400s. Doublet of security.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈʃʊəɹɪti/, /ˈʃɔːɹɪti/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈʃʊɹəti/, /ˈʃʊəɹəti/
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981, Genesis 15:13:
- Know of a surety, that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs.
- a. 1587, Philippe Sidnei [i.e., Philip Sidney], “(please specify the page number)”, in Fulke Greville, Matthew Gwinne, and John Florio, editors, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia [The New Arcadia], London: […] [John Windet] for William Ponsonbie, published 1590, OCLC 801077108; republished in Albert Feuillerat, editor, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia (Cambridge English Classics: The Complete Works of Sir Philip Sidney; I), Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: University Press, 1912, OCLC 318419127:
- For the more surety they looked round about.
- That which makes sure; that which confirms; ground of confidence or security.
- (law) A promise to pay a sum of money in the event that another person fails to fulfill an obligation.
- c. 1595–1596 (date written), William Shakespeare, “Loues Labour’s Lost”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i]:
- 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.
- A substitute; a hostage.
- 1782, William Cowper, “Conversation”, in Poems, London: […] J[oseph] Johnson, […], OCLC 1029672464:
- ...It happen’d on a solemn eventide,
Soon after He that was our surety died,
Two bosom friends, each pensively inclined,
The scene of all those sorrows left behind,
Sought their own village, busied as they went
In musings worthy of the great event:
They spake of Him they loved, of Him whose life,
Though blameless, had incurr’d perpetual strife,
Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts,
A deep memorial graven on their hearts...
- Evidence; confirmation; warrant.
- c. 1604–1605 (date written), William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene iii]:
- She called the saints to surety,
That she would never put it from her finger,
Unless she gave it to yourself.