From Middle English surete, from Anglo-Norman seurté, from Latin sēcūritās. Equivalent to sure + -ty. surety (n.) . 1300, "a guarantee, promise, pledge, an assurance," from Old French seurté "a promise, pledge, guarantee; assurance, confidence" (12c., Modern French sûreté), from Latin securitatem (nominative securitas) "freedom from care or danger, safety, security," from securus (see secure (adj.)). From late 14c. as "security, safety, stability; state of peace," also "certainty, certitude; confidence." Meaning "one who makes himself responsible for another" is from early 15c. Until 1966, the French national criminal police department was the Sûreté nationale. Doublet of security.
- That which makes sure; that which confirms; ground of confidence or security.
- (law) A promise to pay a sum of money in the event that another person fails to fulfill an obligation.
- (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
- (Can we date this quote?) Bible, Proverbs xi. 15
- He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it.
- A substitute; a hostage.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Cowper to this entry?)
- Evidence; confirmation; warrant.