Definition of surety in US English:



  • 1A person who takes responsibility for another's performance of an undertaking, for example their appearing in court or the payment of a debt.

    • ‘In our respectful submission, that is not the sort of burden that a surety is normally complaining of.’
    • ‘What follows is important - the right to contribution does not arise because the sureties all derive a benefit from the payment made.’
    • ‘As previously noted, it is the responsibility of the informant and/or his surety to communicate all changes of address to the court in which the recognizance is lodged.’
    • ‘The last branch of the definition is of importance where a third party is subrogated to the original surety's rights.’
    • ‘If disaster strikes the debtor and the mortgaged securities but the surety remains capable of repaying the debt then the creditor loses nothing.’
    • ‘The accused's mother was tendered as a potential surety.’
    • ‘The latter require sureties to supervise the accused.’
    • ‘Democracy itself requires that all public power be lawfully conferred and exercised, and of this the courts are the surety.’
    • ‘So far, we have not referred to the practice of landlords requiring a tenant or assignee of a lease to provide guarantors or sureties for his performance of the covenants in the lease.’
    • ‘The Appellant contended at trial that he left the surety's home on a medical emergency and that during his absence, he was in hospital.’
    • ‘To change the principal contract is to change the basis upon which the surety agreed to become liable.’
    • ‘The relation of principal and surety gives to the surety certain rights.’
    • ‘Cost increases and poor response by sureties in some sub defaults have caused more customers to shop around.’
    • ‘A surety who pays off the debt owed by the principal debtor is subrogated to any securities given by the debtor as security for the debt.’
    guarantor, sponsor
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Money given to support an undertaking that someone will perform a duty, pay their debts, etc.; a guarantee.
      ‘the judge granted bail with a surety of $500’
      • ‘The magistrate then granted bail in the sum of $500,000 with two sureties, to be approved by the clerk of the peace.’
      • ‘The Railway Procurement Agency has independent sureties and bonds for the trams valued at €8 million.’
      • ‘The reason is the attitude of the law to indemnities and sureties when there is another, quite viable perhaps, interpretation open.’
      • ‘The first was for a bail hearing and the second - yesterday - to lodge 5,000 euros with the court as surety to guarantee his bail.’
      • ‘Judge O'Shea granted him bail, subject to him raising a surety of €5,000 today.’
      • ‘Ashman was then remanded in custody with consent to bail on his bond of €750 and an independent surety of €1,500.’
      • ‘A cash bail of €1,250 and an independent surety of €6,300 was fixed by Judge James O'Connor.’
      • ‘Police opposed bail, but the Magistrate agreed to his release on the condition he pay a surety and comply with other bail conditions.’
      • ‘It is this home that Mrs Davies has provided as security for the amount of the surety.’
      • ‘My son had to post $500 surety with 14 bail conditions, and others had to post sureties of $1000 or $1500, despite the fact that most of us had no criminal record.’
      • ‘He was granted conditional bail after paying a surety of 100,000 baht.’
      • ‘The cash bail was fixed at €1,250 with an independent surety of €6,300.’
      pledge, collateral, guaranty, guarantee, bond, assurance, insurance, bail, deposit
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The state of being sure or certain of something.
      ‘I was enmeshed in the surety of my impending fatherhood’
      • ‘Truly decisive objectives are the long-term provision of societal security, political surety, and economic stability, for which non-military instruments are essential.’
      • ‘They went about their tasks with more surety than before and when they broke the surface, the rapid activity assured Nelson that the crew was continuing to do their jobs even better than before, if that was possible.’
      • ‘She spoke of her position - providing relief and surety to people who often enter her office unsure of their future - with pride.’
      • ‘No one can predict with surety that someone will never act dysfunctionally again.’
      • ‘He possesses the aggression, running power and surety of touch to take men on and beat them.’
      • ‘The situation remains complex and immensely uncertain, and there is no surety that the peace process will last.’
      • ‘If gravity is pulling everything down, why do the sparks fly upwards with great surety?’
      • ‘It offers surety that you can handle the weight of the bar, that your lower back is safe from harm, and that you don't need to stress about balance when the mind-muscle connection is what you are after.’
      • ‘There are games that have handled with an equal degree of surety, but never in the context of such a complex control scheme and game world.’
      • ‘‘Because you're better than her, sweetie,’ Lisa said with surety.’


  • of (or for) a surety

    • archaic For certain.

      ‘who can tell that for a surety?’


Middle English (in the sense ‘something given to support an undertaking that someone will fulfill an obligation’): from Old French surte, from Latin securitas (see security).