guar·​an·​tee | \ ˌger-ən-ˈtē How to pronounce guarantee (audio) , ˌgär-, ˌga-rən- also ˈger-ən-ˌtē or ˈgär-ən-, ˈga-rən-\

Definition of guarantee

 (Entry 1 of 2)

3 : an assurance for the fulfillment of a condition: such as
a : an agreement by which one person undertakes to secure another in the possession or enjoyment of something
b : an assurance of the quality of or of the length of use to be expected from a product offered for sale often with a promise of reimbursement The washer comes with a guarantee against major defects.


guaranteed; guaranteeing

Definition of guarantee (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to undertake to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of guarantee a loan
2 : to engage for the existence, permanence, or nature of : undertake to do or secure guarantee the winning of three tricks
3 : to give security to guaranteed her against loss
4 : to assert confidently I guarantee you'll like it

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for guarantee

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of guarantee in a Sentence

Noun And as key pieces of the infrastructure are knocked out, there is no guarantee that they will be repaired or rebuilt, at least not as they were before. — Naomi Klein, Harper's, October 2007 It might be no bad thing if the Constitution's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws" was interpreted to outlaw the vagaries of voting … — Michael Kinsley, New York Times Book Review, 5 Nov. 2006 Collecting can be a sort of love-sickness. If you begin collecting living things,  … even if you manage to find them and then possess them, there is no guarantee they won't die or change. — Susan Orlean, New Yorker, 23 Jan. 1995 The washer comes with a guarantee against major defects. They wanted a guarantee that the document was authentic. They want the new contract to include a guarantee of job security. The U.S. Constitution includes guarantees against unreasonable searches. He cited the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. Verb They're called change agents. They swoop in to transform stodgy institutions …  . It's a risky tack, one that guarantees large numbers of people will hate the boss's guts. — Daniel McGinn, Newsweek, 28 Feb. 2005 For an incumbent President …  . The power of the office and the media coverage its holder is guaranteed for just doing his job generally give him the luxury of staying above the fray. — Joe Klein, Time, 22 Mar. 2004 Voucher plans were adopted largely as a last resort, an effort to guarantee a semblance of school choice for low-income minority students in failing inner-city schools. — Jeffrey Rosen, New Republic, 18 Mar. 2002 The washer is guaranteed against defects for one year. They guarantee that the diamonds they sell are top quality. He offered to personally guarantee the loan. The investment was guaranteed by the bank. I guarantee that you'll be satisfied. He guaranteed us that everything would go according to plan. Money doesn't guarantee a happy life. He guaranteed a victory in the championship game.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Winning later means losing now, and not even losing now is a guarantee of winning later. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: Thanks to Andy Dalton for his service. Bengals' roster must be razed.," 30 Oct. 2019 Plenty of big-name partnerships have gone bust in the streaming world over the last decade, and star power, in front of and behind the camera, certainly is no guarantee of success. Mark Dawidziak, cleveland, "Apple TV+ launches with heavyweight help from powerful friends," 26 Oct. 2019 Maybe that’s why Landry was moved to utter, then walk back, what sounded like a victory guarantee for his talented squad. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Panthers star Christian McCaffrey faces huge test as 49ers' 'Steel Curtain' looms," 24 Oct. 2019 The 50-60 hour work week is a guarantee for burnout and illness. Dr. Daneen Skube,, "Keep working into your 60s, but be sure to recharge batteries," 7 Oct. 2019 There are some global and local excursion specialists who have cruise-specific tours that will provide guarantees for getting you back to the ship on time just like the tours sold by the line themselves. Dan Q. Dao, Condé Nast Traveler, "We’re All Overlooking the Easiest Group Trip Ever: The Cruise," 23 Sep. 2019 But with no guarantees otherwise in place for Daryl, Macon, Davon Reed, Mychal Mulder, Kyle Alexander, Chris Silva and Jeremiah Johnson, the Heat also could cut any of the six at any point to add a different camp candidate. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Does 20-man camp roster mean Heat’s work is done?," 21 Sep. 2019 But there is no guarantee of success, even with the marked improvements to the detector since 2017. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Fresh analysis of LIGO data supports “no hair” theorem for black holes," 17 Sep. 2019 To diversify the potential risk, UTC uses three insurance companies— Prudential Financial Inc., Nationwide and Lincoln Financial—to provide guarantees for the annuity. Yuka Hayashi, WSJ, "Income Options Are Coming to 401(k) Plans," 11 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And good luck trading a running back guaranteed to make $10.2 million. Kent Somers, azcentral, "The concern is real: David Johnson's performance and contract are weighing down the Cardinals," 11 Nov. 2019 Travelers who use Vrbo are guaranteed payment protection against fraud, phishing and misrepresentation of the property, among other factors. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "How to recognize and protect yourself from Airbnb, home rental scams," 11 Nov. 2019 The Sixth Amendment confrontation clause right guarantees that a criminal defendant can question witnesses who testify against them at trial. Time, "Why Trump's Defenses Against Impeachment Are Doomed to Fail," 11 Nov. 2019 With six victories the Aggies already are guaranteed to make an 11th consecutive bowl game. Brent Zwerneman, Houston Chronicle, "Top Miami recruit Donell Harris commits to Aggies," 11 Nov. 2019 The hilarious results guarantee no one comes out smelling like a rose., "Community News For The Windham Edition," 8 Nov. 2019 Given the ongoing success of Microsoft, the tech sector, and the equities markets overall, the growth of Gates’s wealth is almost guaranteed to outstrip Warren’s hypothetical tax, which now seems quite modest indeed. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Bill Gates’s Fortune Isn’t Going Anywhere," 7 Nov. 2019 The constitutions in both countries guarantee every citizen a right to education. Beatrice Akala, Quartz Africa, "Fixing policy isn’t enough to keep girls in school in Kenya and South Africa," 7 Nov. 2019 That status has meant workers aren't guaranteed the same rights as employees, such as a minimum wage, overtime, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, paid sick leave or on-the-job expenses. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Uber stock hits a new low as lockup period ends," 6 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guarantee.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of guarantee


1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1731, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for guarantee

Noun and Verb

probably alteration of guaranty entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about guarantee

Time Traveler for guarantee

Time Traveler

The first known use of guarantee was in 1680

See more words from the same year

Statistics for guarantee

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Guarantee.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for guarantee



Financial Definition of guarantee

What It Is

In general, a guarantee is a promise to take responsibility for another company's financial obligation if that company cannot meet its obligation. The entity assuming this responsibility is called the guarantor.

How It Works

Let's assume XYZ Company has a subsidiary named ABC Company. ABC Company would like to build a new plant and thus needs to borrow $10 million from a bank. The bank will probably require XYZ Company to guarantee the loan. By doing so, XYZ Company agrees to repay the loan using cash flows from other parts of its business should ABC Company be unable to generate enough cash on its own to repay the debt.

Often a parent company will guarantee bonds issued by one of its subsidiaries, but there are plenty of other situations that might involve guarantees. For example, vendors sometimes require a guarantee from a customer if the vendor is uncertain about the customer's ability to pay (this most often happens in transactions involving expensive equipment or other physical property). In these situations, the customer's bank might guarantee the customer's payment, meaning that the bank will pay the vendor if the customer does not.

Guarantors don't always guarantee the entire amount of a liability. In bond issues, for example, the guarantor might only guarantee the repayment of interest or principal, but not both. Sometimes more than one company might guarantee a security; in these cases, each guarantor is usually only responsible for a pro rata portion of the issue. In other cases, each guarantor may be responsible for other guarantors' portions if they also default on their responsibilities.

Historically, guarantors disclosed the nature and size of their guarantees in the notes to their financial statements. But in 2002 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Interpretation 45, stating that guarantors must book the fair value of the guaranteed obligation as a liability on the balance sheet and that they must do so at the inception of the guarantee. Some guarantees, such as those that are accounted for as derivatives, those issued by insurance companies, and some guarantees issued by leasing companies, are exempt from this rule. It is important to note that guarantees issued between parents and their subsidiaries do not have to be booked as liabilities.

However, all guarantees must be disclosed. The guarantor must disclose the nature of the guarantee (terms, history, and events that would put the guarantor in a position to fulfill its obligation), the maximum potential liability under the guarantee, and any provisions that might enable the guarantor to recover any money paid out under the guarantee.

Why It Matters

Guarantees mitigate risk, but it is important to note that they do not make a security risk-free. After all, it is still possible that even the guarantor can default on the liability if the liability is too large or if the guarantor is already struggling for other reasons. Regardless, guarantees provide an extra layer of security, which is why guaranteed securities often get higher credit ratings.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce guarantee (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of guarantee

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a promise that the quality of something (such as a product that is being sold) will be as good as expected
: a promise that something is true or real
: a promise that something will happen or be done



English Language Learners Definition of guarantee (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a usually written promise that whatever you are selling, doing, etc., is what you say it is
: to promise to pay for (something) if another person fails to pay for it
: to say (something) with great confidence


guar·​an·​tee | \ ˌger-ən-ˈtē How to pronounce guarantee (audio) , ˌgär-\

Kids Definition of guarantee

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a promise that something will be or will happen as stated a guarantee against defects
2 : something given as a promise of payment : security


guaranteed; guaranteeing

Kids Definition of guarantee (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make a promise about the condition or occurrence of something guarantee a car
2 : to promise to be responsible for the debt or duty of another person I'll guarantee his loan.

Keep scrolling for more


guar·​an·​tee | \ ˌgar-ən-ˈtē, ˌgär- How to pronounce guarantee (audio) \

Legal Definition of guarantee

3 : an assurance that a condition will be fulfilled: as
a : an agreement by which one person undertakes to secure another in the possession or enjoyment of something
b : an assurance of the quality or of the length of use to be expected from a product offered for sale often with a promise of reimbursement
4 : guaranty sense 4, 5 constitutional guarantees

Other Words from guarantee

guarantee transitive verb

History and Etymology for guarantee

probably alteration of guaranty

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on guarantee

What made you want to look up guarantee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not agreeing with established beliefs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!