Meaning of “secure” in the English Dictionary

"secure" in British English

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uk /sɪˈkjʊər/ us /səˈkjʊr/

secure adjective (FIXED)

B2 positioned or fixed firmly and correctly and therefore not likely to move, fall, or break:

That ladder doesn't look very secure to me.
Check that all windows and doors are secure.

A secure place is one that it is difficult to get out of or escape from:

He killed the man just a month after his release from a secure mental hospital.

More examples

  • We've done everything we can to make the house as secure as possible.
  • She lives in a secure compound with both sons.
  • She's just left a secure job to start up her own company.
  • I left my car in a secure car park.
  • At the age of 14 he was placed in secure accommodation.

secure adjective (PROTECTED)

likely to continue and not fail or be lost:

Her promotion has made her position in the company more secure.
The museum has been promised $22 million by the government, so its future is relatively secure.

(especially of objects, situations, etc.) able to avoid being harmed by any risk, danger, or threat:

Car manufacturers ought to produce vehicles that are more secure against theft.
Endangered species need to be kept secure from poachers.

More examples

  • Care was taken to secure the crash site as a crime scene to preserve evidence.
  • It's less easy to secure an area that is away from public view.
  • Strenuous efforts were made to secure the area before the Prince's arrival.
  • We must, as a matter of priority, secure the building in the light of recent developments.
  • He was hoping to raise enough cash to secure his family's future.


uk /sɪˈkjʊər/ us /səˈkjʊr/

secure verb (GET)

[ T ] formal to get something, sometimes with difficulty:

He was disappointed by his failure to secure the top job with the bank.
The change in the law will make it harder for the police to secure convictions.

More examples

  • The company managed to beat off the competition and secure the contract.
  • The directors have managed to secure a good deal for the company.
  • The commander-in-chief was given 36 hours to secure a withdrawal of his troops from the combat zone.
  • The president said it was imperative that the release of all hostages be secured.
  • Now that the finance has been secured, the production of the film is assured.

(Definition of “secure” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"secure" in American English

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us /sɪˈkjʊər/

secure adjective (FREE FROM RISK)

free from risk and the threat of change for the worse:

a secure job
People want to feel secure economically.
The museum has a large endowment, so its future is relatively secure.

Secure can also mean confident and free from worry:

Children need to feel secure in order to do well at school.

secure adjective (FREE FROM DANGER)

free from danger or the threat of harm or unwanted access; safe:

Troops were sent to make the border secure.
He questioned whether the government’s computer database was secure from hackers.
For some time after the robbery we could not feel secure, even in our own home.

secure adjective (FIXED)

fixed, fastened, or locked into a position that prevents movement:

That ladder doesn’t look very secure to me.
Just check that the door is secure – the lock doesn’t always work.

secureverb [ T ]

us /sɪˈkjʊr/

secure verb [ T ] (OBTAIN)

to obtain something, sometimes with difficulty:

She managed to secure a loan from the bank.

secure verb [ T ] (FASTEN)

to fasten something firmly:

Secure the boat to the dock.

secure verb [ T ] (MAKE SAFE)

to make sure something is protected from danger or threat:

The wall was originally built to secure the town from attack.

(Definition of “secure” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"secure" in Business English

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secureverb [ T ]

uk /sɪˈkjʊər/ us

to manage to get money or achieve something, often something difficult:

secure financing/a loan/a grant They hope to secure a $500,000 federal grant to cover some of the development costs.
secure a win/victory
The Chinese bank secured $3.5 billion in offers within the first few days of its flotation.

FINANCE to borrow money from a person or organization by agreeing that they can have your property or assets if you cannot pay it back:

secure sth against/on sth The extra debt will be raised by selling bonds secured on the hotel and restaurant assets.
He had used the boat as collateral to secure a $10,000 loan.

to protect something from risk or threat:

This investment is a good way of securing your family's financial future.
Cost savings will help secure jobs by improving competitiveness.
Police were quick to secure the area when they received the warning of a terrorist attack.


uk /sɪˈkjʊər/ us

if someone's future, investment, or job is secure, they feel confident that it will continue and not fail or be lost:

Although the high returns of recent years cannot continue indefinitely, many still see property as a secure investment.
Executives reassured existing employees that their jobs are secure.

safe and protected from the risk of an attack or crime:

The latest technology allows customers to make secure online transactions.
a secure line/network/site
a secure area/building

(Definition of “secure” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)