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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

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Other Words from surety

suretyship \ ˈshu̇r(-​ə)-​tē-​ˌship How to pronounce suretyship (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 Chudhary's parents and cousin, who were present, would sign as sureties. Lauren Del Valle, CNN, "New York man ordered held without bail after allegedly plotting an ISIS-inspired attack," 30 Aug. 2019 Friends and family offered up their houses as sureties on a $2 million bond. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "“Silicon Valley is not the Wild West”: Anthony Levandowski faces criminal charges for stealing trade secrets," 28 Aug. 2019 King writes with the kind of surety normally associated only with veteran writers. New York Times, "Notes From the Book Review Archives," 1 June 2018 America might also offer the surety of a deal which, unlike the original, would be enshrined in a treaty ratified by the Senate from which no president could withdraw off his own bat. The Economist, "Breaking the nuclear deal ratchets up the conflict between Iran and America," 28 June 2019 Lancia’s attorney said his client was expected to post $10,000 surety bail, according to WPRI. Travis Andersen, BostonGlobe.com, "R.I. Hell’s Angels boss charged with firing gun at passing car in Providence," 13 June 2019 William Husel -- who used to work at Mount Carmel Health System -- pleaded not guilty and is being held on a $20,000 recognizance bond and a $1 million surety or appearance bond according to CNN affiliate WBNS. Taylor Romine, CNN, "Columbus doctor indicted for 25 counts of murder related to alleged overprescribing of pain medication," 5 June 2019 Judge Samuel Cappas lowered Smith’s bail to $10,000 surety and $1,000 cash. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Judge lowers bail for man charged in Gary shootout with ATF agents," 27 June 2018 Anton remained in the county jail Thursday with bail amounts set at $150,000 cash or surety and $15,000, cash only. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Ex-teacher accused of having ongoing sexual contact with teen, Missouri sheriff says," 28 June 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for surety

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for surety

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

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How to pronounce surety (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of surety

law : money that you give as a guarantee that you will do what you are legally required to do (such as to appear in court)
law : someone who agrees to be legally responsible if another person fails to pay a debt or to perform a duty
formal : 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

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