- That which makes sure; that which confirms; ground of confidence or security.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book 5”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
- [We] our happy state / Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds; / On other surety none.
- (legal) A promise to pay a sum of money in the event that another person fails to fulfill an obligation.
- c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “Loues Labour’s Lost”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
- There remains unpaid / A hundred thousand more; in surety of the which / One part of Aquitaine is bound to us.
- (legal) One who undertakes to pay money or perform other acts in the event that his principal fails therein.
- A substitute; a hostage.
- ...It happen’d on a solemn eventide, / Soon after He that was our surety died, / Two bosom friends, each pensively inclined, / The scene of all those sorrows left behind, / Sought their own village, busied as they went / In musings worthy of the great event: / They spake of Him they loved, of Him whose life, / Though blameless, had incurr’d perpetual strife, / Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts, / A deep memorial graven on their hearts...
- Evidence; confirmation; warrant.
- c. 1604–1605, William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene iii]:
- She called the saints to surety, / That she would never put it from her finger, / Unless she gave it to yourself.
- French: cautionnement
- German: Bürgschaft
- Italian: fideiussione
- Portuguese: caução
- Russian: пору́ка
- Spanish: fianza