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

Keep scrolling for more

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 The lack of any sort of binding document beyond a gentleman’s agreement to band together and not work against one another provided the only near-term surety that this was a viable, effective thing. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Oct. 2021 He was released on a $250,000 bond and will return to federal court on Tuesday another surety to sign the bond, Marzulli said. Lisa Respers France, CNN, 13 Aug. 2021 He was arrested and bail reset to $5,000 cash surety. Meredith Colias-pete,, 21 July 2021 Her bail set at $4,000 cash surety, while he is ordered to be held without bond, according to court records. Meredith Colias-pete,, 1 July 2021 John Kenneth Trihus, as surety for Midwest Farm Operations Co. LLC, and Wendy Kay Trihus, Newry Ag Inc., Blooming Prairie, Minn.; filed May 28, 21-30914; Chap. Star Tribune, 6 June 2021 The vaunted mid-century prosperity and surety were really only for white men—and Kodak’s generosity was often two-faced. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 16 June 2021 Daniel and David Carides were being held at the Adult Correctional Institutions on $100,000 surety bail, and the 17-year-old was being held at the Rhode Island Training School., 24 May 2021 Magistrate Kathleen Sullivan set bond at $10,000 cash surety, which was posted Wednesday. Meredith Colias-pete,, 8 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About surety

Time Traveler for surety

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near surety



surety bond

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for surety

Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for surety



English Language Learners Definition of surety

: money that you give as a guarantee that you will do what you are legally required to do (such as to appear in court)
: someone who agrees to be legally responsible if another person fails to pay a debt or to perform a duty
: the state of being or feeling sure or certain


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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