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[si-kyoo r-i-tee] /sɪˈkyʊər ɪ ti/
noun, plural securities.
freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety.
freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt; well-founded confidence.
something that secures or makes safe; protection; defense.
freedom from financial cares or from want:
The insurance policy gave the family security.
precautions taken to guard against crime, attack, sabotage, espionage, etc.: claims that security was lax at the embassy;
the importance of computer security to prevent hackers from gaining access.
a department or organization responsible for protection or safety:
He called security when he spotted the intruder.
protection or precautions taken against escape; custody:
The dangerous criminal was placed under maximum security.
an assurance; guarantee.
  1. something given or deposited as surety for the fulfillment of a promise or an obligation, the payment of a debt, etc.
  2. one who becomes surety for another.
an evidence of debt or of property, as a bond or a certificate of stock.
Usually, securities. stocks and bonds.
Archaic. overconfidence; cockiness.
of, relating to, or serving as security:
The company has instituted stricter security measures.
Origin of security
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English securytye, securite(e) < Latin sēcūritās. See secure, -ity
Related forms
nonsecurity, noun, plural nonsecurities.
oversecurity, noun
self-security, noun
subsecurity, noun, plural subsecurities.
2. assurance, certainty, positiveness. 3. safeguard, safety. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for security
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "That will do," she said, when she had satisfied herself of its security.

    The Haunted Homestead E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • So then, spite of my care and foresight, I am caught, caught in my security.

  • This dependence on the people is the security that they will not act wrong.

  • There would be no security at all for rights if this were not so.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • The security of individual property is the foundation of all social improvement.

    Knowledge is Power: Charles Knight
British Dictionary definitions for security


noun (pl) -ties
the state of being secure
assured freedom from poverty or want: he needs the security of a permanent job
a person or thing that secures, guarantees, etc
precautions taken to ensure against theft, espionage, etc: the security in the government offices was not very good
(often pl)
  1. a certificate of creditorship or property carrying the right to receive interest or dividend, such as shares or bonds
  2. the financial asset represented by such a certificate
the specific asset that a creditor can claim title to in the event of default on an obligation
something given or pledged to secure the fulfilment of a promise or obligation
a person who undertakes to fulfil another person's obligation
the protection of data to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to computer files
(archaic) carelessness or overconfidence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for security

mid-15c., "condition of being secure," from Latin securitas, from securus "free from care" (see secure). Replacing sikerte (early 15c.), from an earlier borrowing from Latin; earlier in the sense "security" was sikerhede (early 13c.); sikernesse (c.1200).

Meaning "something which secures" is from 1580s; "safety of a state, person, etc." is from 1941. Legal sense of "property in bonds" is from mid-15c.; that of "document held by a creditor" is from 1680s. Phrase security blanket in figurative sense is attested from 1966, in reference to the crib blanket carried by the character Linus in the "Peanuts" comic strip (1956).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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security in Technology
Protection against unauthorized access to, or alteration of, information and system resources including CPUs, storage devices and programs.
Security includes:
* confidentiality - preventing unauthorized access; integrity - preventing or detecting unauthorized modification of information.
* authentication - determining whether a user is who they claim to be.
* access control - ensuring that users can access the resources, and only the resources, that they are authorised to.
* nonrepudiation - proof that a message came from a certain source.
* availability - ensuring that a system is operational and accessible to authorised users despite hardware or software failures or attack.
* privacy - allowing people to know and control how information is collected about them and how it is used.
Security can also be considered in the following terms:
* physical security - who can touch the system to operate or modify it, protection against the physical environment - heat, earthquake, etc.
* operational/procedural security - who is authorised to do or responsible for doing what and when, who can authorise others to do what and who has to report what to who.
* personnel security - hiring employees, background screening, training, security briefings, monitoring and handling departures.
* System security - User access and authentication controls, assignment of privilege, maintaining file and filesystem integrity, backup, monitoring processes, log-keeping, and auditing.
* network security - protecting network and telecommunications equipment, protecting network servers and transmissions, combatting eavesdropping, controlling access from untrusted networks, firewalls, and intrusion detection.
Encryption is one important technique used to improve data security.
OWASP is the free and open application security community.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Idioms and Phrases with security


In addition to the idiom beginning with security also see: lull into (false sense of security)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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