Definition of security in US English:



  • 1The state of being free from danger or threat.

    ‘the system is designed to provide maximum security against toxic spills’
    ‘job security’
    • ‘According to him however, Government has to guarantee security against international threats.’
    • ‘They would all have more cash to provide job security and job creation.’
    • ‘He has ensured security of tenure for those whom he has backed.’
    • ‘The US Food and Drug Administration announced rules today that will enhance the security of the US food supply.’
    • ‘With it, you can improve Internet security for remote workers.’
    • ‘If you can't budget effectively, you endanger your financial security by spending more than you earn.’
    • ‘As in London, the force's chiefs said they hoped to balance security against people's rights to protest peacefully.’
    • ‘Having a job did not necessarily guarantee economic security for African American workers and their families.’
    • ‘Other costs include the introduction of bio security against bird flu.’
    • ‘A new University of Queensland research project could lead to improved internal computer network security at banks and financial institutions.’
    • ‘What are the recent scientific and technological developments that enhance aviation security?’
    • ‘What should we be doing to ensure vaccine safety and security against external threats?’
    • ‘Colonialism is no longer seen as a threat to peace and security since there are no more empires left.’
    • ‘A notch in the rear dovetail provides additional security against ring movement.’
    • ‘But it can make major strides to bolster the country's financial security.’
    • ‘The only true security against nuclear dangers is an enforceable ban on all nuclear weapons.’
    • ‘They will give increased security of tenure for the tenants of agricultural holdings.’
    • ‘State policy for ensuring information security during military conflicts has a prognostic, organizational and administrative function.’
    • ‘Fallback resources provide security against errors in other setting mechanisms.’
    • ‘The Green Revolution ensured food security at the macro level, but not completely at the household level.’
    protection, defence, guard, shelter, screen, buffer, preventive, precaution, prophylactic, provision, safety measure, surety, cover, insurance, indemnity
    certainty, safe future, assured future, safety, reliability, dependability, solidness, soundness
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    1. 1.1 The safety of a state or organization against criminal activity such as terrorism, theft, or espionage.
      ‘a matter of national security’
      • ‘The National Party considers matters of national security to be of the highest importance.’
      • ‘Tony Blair was warned six years ago that religious fanaticism would become a serious threat to UK security, it has been revealed.’
      • ‘Our nation's security is not just the responsibility of the armed forces.’
      • ‘How exactly does all this improve U.S. national security for the long haul?’
      • ‘A second factor relates to reputedly lax physical security and accounting systems at many nuclear weapons enterprises.’
      • ‘Dealing with national security is always a matter for the executive, and that is how it should be.’
      • ‘That ability made him not only a danger in the region but a threat to America's security.’
      • ‘So therefore, an educational system, based on reason, is a vital matter of national security.’
      • ‘One of the first matters is the need to assist aviation safety and security.’
      • ‘None of these three countries poses a real threat to United States security.’
      • ‘Wealth is therefore an instrument in the creation of national security and national welfare.’
      • ‘There is no such thing as complete security against crime, or against terrorism.’
      • ‘The war was not justifiable on grounds of an immediate threat to US security.’
      • ‘President Bush put terrorism and national security at the center of congressional races.’
      • ‘She complained about the country's lax security and lauded John Kerry for his defiance of the President.’
      • ‘Only in retrospect did we become aware how lax US airport security had become.’
      • ‘What is the director of homeland security for, other than to announce threats to homeland security?’
      • ‘Nicknamed the Jersey Girls, they became experts on national security and terrorism.’
      • ‘But the role of the Government is also to provide safety and security for its citizens.’
      • ‘Terrorism has long been included on the list of so-called new transnational threats to state security.’
      safety, freedom from danger
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    2. 1.2 Procedures followed or measures taken to ensure the safety of a state or organization.
      ‘amid tight security the presidents met in the Colombian resort’
      • ‘Smith landed at Manchester Airport just after midday amid tight security and a blizzard.’
      • ‘A council will look at ways to fund extra security measures at cemeteries after 14 headstones were kicked over.’
      • ‘Once in place, said Moynihan, it's crucial that tight security procedures and policies are maintained.’
      • ‘Elea then set up a series of security measures to ensure that sure an occurrence could never happen again.’
      • ‘In the short run, America will tighten border security.’
      • ‘He has been campaigning for more than a year for tighter security at the site.’
      • ‘More rush on the tracks would of course entail more security measures.’
      • ‘A huge team of people will ensure that the necessary security measures are in place.’
      • ‘You will have a virtual free rein to provide security as you see fit.’
      • ‘At Stansted, armed guards lined the access road to the terminal which was closed for five hours amid heightened security measures.’
      • ‘The Security Council gave new authority to Mr Mehlis, who returned on Monday to Lebanon amid tight security.’
      • ‘Both exports and imports fell in part because of tighter security measures.’
      • ‘The governor came to the temple with his wife, amid tight security.’
      • ‘All the fuss, tight security and checks led to long waits and traffic snarls.’
      • ‘The players touched down in New Delhi at 1430 hours on a PIA flight amid tight security arrangements.’
      • ‘Indonesian Christians will celebrate Christmas amid a tight security in the world's most populous Muslim country.’
      • ‘Border security was tightened just as the U.S. slowdown was forcing legions of migrants to return to Mexico.’
      • ‘Indonesia's military and police are providing tight security for the team during its trip.’
      • ‘We must ensure there are tight security controls at the venue and at the athletes' accommodations.’
      • ‘City institutions were just told to make sure that their existing checks and security procedures were working.’
      safety measures, safeguards
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    3. 1.3 The state of feeling safe, stable, and free from fear or anxiety.
      ‘the emotional security of being the one special person that someone else loves’
      • ‘A deep sense of insecurity grips you and you begin to clutch at emotional and material security.’
      • ‘For one thing, we are afraid, and in times of fear we crave security above all.’
      • ‘Small flechette pistols were sold to give civilians a sense of false security against thugs.’
      • ‘The problems could relate to declining health, declining income or declining emotional security.’
      • ‘You are able to drop old fears and apprehension about material and emotional security.’
      feeling of safety, feeling of ease, absence of anxiety, absence of worry, peace of mind, freedom from doubt, certainty, happiness, comfort, confidence
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  • 2A thing deposited or pledged as a guarantee of the fulfillment of an undertaking or the repayment of a loan, to be forfeited in case of default.

    • ‘The whole business of pledging - parting with goods to act as security against a loan - is also changing, Kempson said.’
    • ‘If the bank does not get security against the borrower itself, it is difficult to see how it gets it against third parties.’
    • ‘The money was being used as security for costs until the appeal was completed.’
    • ‘David has offered the Ace Patent to me as security against this money, which, quite frankly, I am not prepared to accept.’
    • ‘The plaintiffs say that this property could be put up for security for costs.’
    guarantee, collateral, surety, pledge, bond
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  • 3often securitiesA certificate attesting credit, the ownership of stocks or bonds, or the right to ownership connected with tradable derivatives.

    • ‘As we mentioned earlier convertible bonds are rather complex securities for a few reasons.’
    • ‘These are pooled investment funds which give access to a wide spread of shares and other securities such as bonds.’
    • ‘Generally, you shouldn't have more securities in your portfolio than you can keep track of effectively.’
    • ‘It was mainly leverage created by borrowing to finance securities purchases back then.’
    • ‘Most of the respondents had experience in investing in the stock market and other securities.’
    • ‘Instead, I propose to levy a small tax on transactions in securities on stock exchanges.’
    • ‘Most securities that trade this way are penny stocks or are from very small companies.’
    • ‘For those with an interest in individual securities, there are stocks and bonds to meet every need.’
    • ‘The new rules also make donating mutual funds, stocks, bonds and other securities more attractive.’
    • ‘The duration of gilts, bonds and interest bearing securities will not exceed 2 years.’
    • ‘Finally, you can gift shares and other financial securities to charity and get tax relief on their market value.’
    • ‘But before you go and register all your securities into joint ownership, there is a catch.’
    • ‘The Fed uses this cash to purchase securities from primary government bond dealers.’
    • ‘Already we have seen how important are the securities and derivatives activities of modern banks.’
    • ‘A mutual fund firm invests in a broad range of stocks or other securities on behalf of a large number of individual clients.’
    • ‘The securities trade like stocks when the price of common shares moves above the conversion price.’
    • ‘An adviser executive sells mutual funds, bonds and other related securities to customers.’
    • ‘Most of these securities were financed by British and Dutch investors.’
    • ‘One should remember that most of the option theory was developed for financial securities.’
    • ‘Junk bonds or high yield bonds are securities issued by companies that aren't in the best of health.’
    investments, shares, holdings, securities, equities, bonds
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  • 4A private police force that guards a building, campus, park, etc.

    • ‘The men followed him and security staff blocked their way but a fight broke out during which a man suddenly appeared, pointed a gun and fired.’
    • ‘They rely on bodyguards and private security instead of the police.’
    • ‘Maduna said training of security personnel was the duty of the two soccer federations.’
    • ‘It had gone to the extent of hiring private security companies to guard ATM halls.’
    • ‘As a parent of a frosh I am wondering where the campus police or security is when these acts of vandalism occur.’
    • ‘Topside, a small building holds security police, a cook and support personnel.’
    • ‘I found them easy for martial artists, police and private security of any level to learn.’
    • ‘It is guarded by a private security force contracted out to the Department of Energy!’
    • ‘It is better for private security firms to search staff and guard buildings.’
    • ‘Police and security now restrict parking and work hard to keep the street open.’
    • ‘Other property owners have been obliged to pay substantial amounts to private security firms to guard their lands.’
    • ‘That usually comprised gang members, police and private security.’
    • ‘It is little wonder he feels this way when he has to draft in 400 police and 620 private security staff for every Old Firm game.’
    • ‘Also planned is the privatisation of on campus security and significant staff cuts.’
    • ‘As you were marched out of the building by security, they wouldn't be laughing, that's for damn sure.’
    • ‘A protesting girl was jostled by one of the longhairs while campus security watched.’
    • ‘Parliament security personnel are still puzzled about what might have caused the false alarm.’
    • ‘No risks have been taken this time, with private security and police almost outnumbering Veritas voters.’
    • ‘The Immigration Service operation involved about 20 officials and escort guards from a private security firm.’
    • ‘The police force, private security and volunteers were present in large numbers to check any untoward incident.’


  • on security of something

    • Using something as a guarantee.

      • ‘Their money has gone to a particular borrower, on security of a particular property, with a particular mortgage.’
      • ‘They could lend on security of shares and stocks held by jobbers to allow them to settle differences at the fortnightly settlements.’


Late Middle English: from Old French securite or Latin securitas, from securus ‘free from care’ (see secure).