sure·​ty | \ ˈshu̇r(-ə)-tē How to pronounce surety (audio) , ˈshər- \
plural sureties

Definition of surety

1 : the state of being sure: such as
a : sure knowledge : certainty
b : confidence in manner or behavior : assurance
2a : a formal engagement (such as a pledge) given for the fulfillment of an undertaking : guarantee
b : a basis of confidence or security
3 : one who has become legally liable for the debt, default, or failure in duty of another

Other Words from surety

suretyship \ ˈshu̇r(-​ə)-​tē-​ˌship How to pronounce surety (audio) , ˈshər-​ \ noun

Examples of surety in a Sentence

As sureties, they will be liable in his place. gave his surety that he would pay back the loan if his sister was unable to for any reason
Recent Examples on the Web Slowly but with increasing surety, Trump has become a larger focus of the January 6 committee’s efforts. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 29 Mar. 2022 Ben Catterlin, Russell's attorney, asked the judge to set bond at $100,000 cash or corporate surety. Tracy Neal, Arkansas Online, 11 Mar. 2022 Richland County Judge Alison Lee granted Fleming a $100,000 surety with a 10% cash option, according to local news reports. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 17 Mar. 2022 Black settlers are required to find two people willing to post a $500 surety guaranteeing their good behavior., 24 Feb. 2022 The Scottsdale Unified school board members do not have surety bonds, and they are not required to do so under Arizona law. NBC News, 21 Feb. 2022 The New York Times in 1975 wrote of the legendary Alabama speed trap town of Fruithurst as if aggressive policing was a Southern surety. John Archibald |, al, 9 Feb. 2022 Among the proposals in question Tuesday was Senate Bill 6, which would effectively eliminate the use of surety bonds for people accused of violent crimes. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 12 Jan. 2022 Thoughtful in his words, Benjamin speaks with a surety uncommon in teens. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, 23 Dec. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of surety

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for surety

Middle English seurte, from Anglo-French seurté, from Latin securitat-, securitas security, from securus

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Time Traveler for surety

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The first known use of surety was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near surety



surety bond

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Last Updated

5 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Surety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for surety


sure·​ty | \ ˈshu̇r-ə-tē How to pronounce surety (audio) \
plural sureties

Legal Definition of surety

1 : a formal engagement (as a pledge) given for the fulfillment of an undertaking
2 : one (as an accommodation party) who promises to answer for the debt or default of another

Note: At common law a surety is distinguished from a guarantor by being immediately liable as opposed to becoming liable only upon default of the principal. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, however, a surety includes a guarantor, and the two terms are generally interchangeable.

History and Etymology for surety

Anglo-French seurté, literally, guarantee, security, from Old French, from Latin securitat- securitas, from securus secure

More from Merriam-Webster on surety

Nglish: Translation of surety for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surety for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about surety


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