adj. se·cur·er, se·cur·est
1. Free from danger or attack: a secure fortress.
2. Free from risk of loss; safe: Her papers were secure in the vault.
3. Free from the risk of being intercepted or listened to by unauthorized persons: Only one telephone line in the embassy was secure.
4. Free from fear, anxiety, or doubt: felt secure in his old job.
a. Not likely to fail or give way; stable: a secure stepladder.
b. Firmly fastened: a secure lock.
6. Reliable; dependable: secure investments.
7. Assured; certain: With three goals in the first period they had a secure victory, but somehow they lost.
8. Archaic Careless or overconfident.
tr.v. se·cured, se·cur·ing, se·cures
1. To guard from danger or risk of loss: The troops secured the area before the civilians were allowed to return.
2. To make firm or tight; fasten. See Synonyms at fasten.
3. To make certain; ensure: The speaker could not secure the goodwill of the audience.
a. To guarantee payment of (a loan, for example).
b. To guarantee payment to (a creditor).
5. To get possession of; acquire: secured a job.
6. To capture or confine: They secured the suspect in the squad car.
7. To bring about; effect: secured release of the hostages.
8. To protect or ensure the privacy or secrecy of (a telephone line, for example).
[Latin sēcūrus : sē-, without; see s(w)e- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + cūra, care; see CURE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.