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 Covntesse 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.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book 5”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
- [We] our happy state / Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds; / On other surety none.
- (law) A promise to pay a sum of money in the event that another person fails to fulfill an obligation.
- c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “Loues Labour’s Lost”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (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, William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (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.