Definition of security in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /sɪˈkjʊərɪti/
Pronunciation: /sɪˈkjɔːrɪti/

noun (plural securities)

1 [mass noun] The state of being free from danger or threat: the system is designed to provide maximum security against toxic spills job security
More example sentences
  • The only true security against nuclear dangers is an enforceable ban on all nuclear weapons.
  • According to him however, Government has to guarantee security against international threats.
  • What should we be doing to ensure vaccine safety and security against external threats?
certainty, safe future, assured future, safety, reliability, dependability, solidness, soundness
1.1The safety of a state or organization against criminal activity such as terrorism, theft, or espionage: a matter of national security
More example sentences
  • Nicknamed the Jersey Girls, they became experts on national security and terrorism.
  • President Bush put terrorism and national security at the center of congressional races.
  • Wealth is therefore an instrument in the creation of national security and national welfare.
safety, freedom from danger;
protection, safe keeping, shielding, guarding, care;
1.2Procedures followed or measures taken to ensure the security of a state or organization: amid tight security the presidents met in the Colombian resort
More example sentences
  • A huge team of people will ensure that the necessary security measures are in place.
  • Elea then set up a series of security measures to ensure that sure an occurrence could never happen again.
  • City institutions were just told to make sure that their existing checks and security procedures were working.
safety measures, safeguards;
guards, surveillance, defence, protection
1.3The state of feeling safe, stable, and free from fear or anxiety: this man could give her the emotional security she needed
More example sentences
  • You are able to drop old fears and apprehension about material and emotional security.
  • For one thing, we are afraid, and in times of fear we crave security above all.
  • The problems could relate to declining health, declining income or declining emotional security.
feeling of safety, feeling of ease, absence of worry/anxiety, peace of mind, freedom from doubt, certainty, happiness, comfort, confidence
2A thing deposited or pledged as a guarantee of the fulfilment of an undertaking or the repayment of a loan, to be forfeited in case of default.
Example sentences
  • The money was being used as security for costs until the appeal was completed.
  • The plaintiffs say that this property could be put up for security for costs.
  • David has offered the Ace Patent to me as security against this money, which, quite frankly, I am not prepared to accept.
guarantee, collateral, surety, pledge, bond;
hostage, pawn, backing, bail
archaic gage, earnest
3 (often securities) A certificate attesting credit, the ownership of stocks or bonds, or the right to ownership connected with tradable derivatives.
Example sentences
  • The new rules also make donating mutual funds, stocks, bonds and other securities more attractive.
  • For those with an interest in individual securities, there are stocks and bonds to meet every need.
  • The Fed uses this cash to purchase securities from primary government bond dealers.


on security of something

Using something as a guarantee: strict conditions attached to loans made on security of goods remaining the property of the borrowers
More example sentences
  • They could lend on security of shares and stocks held by jobbers to allow them to settle differences at the fortnightly settlements.
  • Their money has gone to a particular borrower, on security of a particular property, with a particular mortgage.


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

  • sure from Middle English:

    This is from Old French sur, from Latin securus ‘free from care’. The same Latin word gives us security (Late Middle English), the legal surety (Middle English), and insecure (mid 17th century) ‘not free from care’, as well as assure (Late Middle English). See curate

Words that rhyme with security

biosecurity, cybersecurity, futurity, immaturity, impurity, maturity, obscurity, purity, surety

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: se¦cur|ity

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.