This post states that se is a prefix that means "without". Wiktionary coincides on that regarding the Latin word securus, which is described as a compound between se and cura, "without care". Some of the meanings include "careless, negligent", which make sense. I am particularly interested in the meaning "free from danger, safe, secure". In effect, the English word "security" (Spanish seguridad, etc) comes from securitas, which comes from securus.

What I don't get is in what sense "security" is related to "without care". Is it because when something is secure, it does not need care? Seems a contradiction to me, since security might emerge precisely because we have taken care of something. That is, security is the outcome of care.

1 Answer 1


The last line is most telling -- it's backwards! Securus doesn't mean making something else safe, but rather it is the outcome of being made safe. Likewise, if something is securus, it's not that others didn't place care on it, but it itself lacks care.

If king is protected by a guard, the king is securus -- he no longer has to care about his well-being. Instead, the guard does. But we wouldn't call the guard securus.

Do note though that securus meaning "safe, secure" as opposed to "carefree, without worries" is a secondary development.

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