security

noun

se·​cu·​ri·​ty si-ˈkyu̇r-ə-tē How to pronounce security (audio)
-ˈkyər-
plural securities
1
: the quality or state of being secure: such as
a
: freedom from danger : safety
b
: freedom from fear or anxiety
c
: freedom from the prospect of being laid off
job security
2
a
: something given, deposited, or pledged to make certain the fulfillment of an obligation
b
: surety
3
: an instrument of investment in the form of a document (such as a stock certificate or bond) providing evidence of its ownership
4
a
: something that secures : protection
b(1)
: measures taken to guard against espionage or sabotage, crime, attack, or escape
(2)
: an organization or department whose task is security

Example Sentences

We must insure our national security. The college failed to provide adequate security on campus after dark. There was a lapse in security and the inmates escaped. We have to go through security at the airport. We called security when we found the door open. The meeting was held under tight security. The prisoner was being kept under maximum security. I like the security of knowing there will be someone there to help me when I need help. Growing up in a close family gave her a sense of security. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Republicans in Montana have grown increasingly outspoken in recent years about China posing a threat to U.S. national security. Matthew Brown, Amy Beth Hanson, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Feb. 2023 In a clip shared on Twitter, Adele was seen telling her band to stop playing and walked toward the front of the stage to point out concertgoers to security. Alexandra Schonfeld, Peoplemag, 3 Feb. 2023 Those booking a first-class ticket with American will be granted priority access through the airport's most congested areas, from check-in to security to the gate. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 2 Feb. 2023 Trump had been thoroughly compromised by Russia and was a grave threat to national security. Craig Unger, The New Republic, 1 Feb. 2023 Corcoran wrote in his letter that Trump regularly discussed matters of critical importance to trade and manufacturing policy with Navarro that were important to the country's security. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 30 Jan. 2023 The Senate panel has been unable to obtain access to the underlying Biden and Trump material, thwarting its ability to assess the threat to national security, the extent of any damage, and the potential need for changes to procedures and laws. Siobhan Hughes, WSJ, 26 Jan. 2023 But both Russia and Ukraine are also key cogs in the global fertilizer industry, and the war has triggered a shortage of the critical commodity that few people consider but is nevertheless essential to global food security. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 26 Jan. 2023 The last few years—with economic shocks in China and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—have demonstrated that a domestic supply of chips and energy is tied to national security. Detroit Free Press, 25 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of security was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near security

Cite this Entry

“Security.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/security. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

security

noun
se·​cu·​ri·​ty si-ˈkyu̇r-ət-ē How to pronounce security (audio)
plural securities
1
: the state of being secure : safety
2
: something given as a pledge
security for a loan
3
: a document (as a stock certificate or bond) providing evidence of ownership
government securities
4
: something that secures : protection
especially : measures taken to guard against spying or destructive actions
concerns over national security

Medical Definition

security

noun
se·​cu·​ri·​ty si-ˈkyu̇r-ət-ē How to pronounce security (audio)
plural securities
: freedom from fear or anxiety
need for security dates back into infancyK. C. Garrison

Legal Definition

security

noun
se·​cur·​i·​ty si-ˈkyu̇r-ə-tē How to pronounce security (audio)
plural securities
1
a
: something (as a mortgage or collateral) that is provided to make certain the fulfillment of an obligation
used his property as security for a loan
b
2
: evidence of indebtedness, ownership, or the right to ownership
specifically : evidence of investment in a common enterprise (as a corporation or partnership) made with the expectation of deriving a profit solely from the efforts of others who acquire control over the funds invested
a security involves some form of investment contract
see also due diligence
asset-backed security
: a security (as a bond) that represents ownership in or is secured by a pool of assets (as loans or receivables) that have been securitized
bearer security
: a security (as a bearer bond) that is not registered and is payable to anyone in possession of it
certificated security \ sər-​ˈti-​fə-​ˌkā-​təd-​ \
: a security that belongs to or is divisible into a class or series of shares, participations, interests, or obligations, is a commonly recognized medium of investment, and is represented on an instrument payable to the bearer or a specified person or on an instrument registered on books by or on behalf of the issuer
convertible security
: a security (as a share of preferred stock) that the owner has the right to convert into a share or obligation of another class or series (as common stock)
debt security
: a security (as a bond) serving as evidence of the indebtedness of the issuer (as a government or corporation) to the owner
equity security
: a security (as a share of stock) serving as evidence of an ownership interest in the issuer
also : one convertible to or serving as evidence of a right to purchase, sell, or subscribe to such a security
exempted security
: a security (as a government bond) exempt from particular requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (as those relating to registration on a security exchange)
fixed-income security
: a security (as a bond) that provides a fixed rate of return on an investment (as because of a fixed interest rate or dividend)
government security
: a security (as a Treasury bill) that is issued by a government, a government agency, or a corporation in which a government has a direct or indirect interest
hybrid security
: a security with characteristics of both an equity security and a debt security
mortgage-backed security
: a security that represents ownership in or is secured by a pool of mortgage obligations
specifically : a pass-through security based on mortgage obligations
pass-through security
: a security representing an ownership interest in a pool of debt obligations from which payments of interest and principal pass from the debtor through an intermediary (as a bank) to the investor
especially : one based on a pool of mortgage obligations guaranteed by a federal government agency compare collateralized mortgage obligation, remic
registered security
: a security (as a registered bond) whose owner is registered on the books of the issuer
: a security that is to be offered for sale and for which a registration statement has been submitted
restricted security
: a security accompanied by restrictions on its free transfer or registration of transfer
shelf security
: a corporate security held for deferred issue in a shelf registration
Treasury security
: a security issued by a government treasury : treasury sense 3
uncertificated security \ ˌən-​sər-​ˈti-​fə-​ˌkā-​təd-​ \
: a security that belongs to or is divisible into a class or series of shares, participations, interests, or obligations, that is a commonly recognized medium of investment, that is not represented by an instrument, and the transfer of which is registered on books by or on behalf of the issuer
unregistered security
: a security for which a registration statement has not been filed
when-issued security
: a security traded on a conditional basis prior to its issue
3
a
: measures taken to guard against espionage or sabotage, crime, attack, or escape
b
: an organization or department whose task is security

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