Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A promise to answer for the payment of some debt, or tho performance of some duty in case of the failure of another person, who is in the first instance liable. See 12 Smedes & M. (Miss.) 595, 51 Am. Dec. 124.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    n. A promise to answer for the payment of some debt or the performance of some duty, in case of the failure of another person, who, in the first instance, ls liable to such payment or performance. Gallagher v. Nichols, 60 N. Y. 444; Andrews v. Pope, 126 N. C. 472, 35 S. E. 817 ; Deming v. Bull, 10 Conn. 409; Reigart v. White, 52 Pa. 438. A guaranty is an undertaking by one person to be answerable for the payment of some debt, or the due performance of some contract or duty, by another person, who himself remains liable to pay or perform the same. Story, Prom. Notes, § 457. A guaranty is a promise to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another person. Civil Code Cal. § 2787. A guaranty is a contract that some particular thing shall be done exactly as it is agreed to be done, whether it is to be done by one person or another, and whether there be a prior or principal contractor or not. Redfield v. Haight, 27 Co.nn. 31. The definition of a "guaranty," by text-writers, is an undertaking by one person that another shall perform his contract or fulfill his obligation, or that, if he does not, the guarantor will do it for him. A guarantor of a bill or note is snid to be one who engages that the note shall be paid, but is not an indorser or surety. Gridley v. Capen, 72 111. 13. Synonyms. The terms guaranty and suretyship are sometimes used interchangeably ; but they should not be confounded. The contract of a surety corresponds with that of a guarantor in many respects; yet important differences exist The surety is bound with his principal as an original promisor. He is a debtor from the beginning, and must see that the debt is paid, and is held ordinarily to know every default of his principal, and cannot protect himself by the mere indulgence of the creditor, nor by want of notice of the default of the principal, however such indulgence or want of notice may in fact injure him. On the other hand, the contract of a guarantor is his own separate contract. It is in the nature of a warranty by him that the thing guarantied to be done by the principal shall be done, not merely an engagement jointly with the principal to do the thing. The original contract of the principal is not his contract, and he is not bound to take notice of its non-performance. Therefore the creditor should give him notice; and it is universally held that, if the guarantor can prove that he has suffered damage by the failure to give such notice, he will be discharged to the extent of the damage thus sustained. It is not so with a surety. Durham v. Manrow, 2 N. Y. 548; Nading v. McGregor, 121 Ind. 465, 23 N. E. 283, 6 L. R. A. 686. Guaranty and warranty are derived from the same root, and are in fact etymologically the same word, the "g" of the Norman French being interchangeable with the English "w." They are often used colloquially and in commercial transactions as having the same signification, as where a piece of machinery or the produce of an estate is "guarantied" for a term of years, "warranted" being the more appropriate term in such a case. See Accumulator Co. v. Dubuque St. R. Co., 64 Fed. 70, l2 C. C. A. 37; Martinez v. Earnshaw, 36 Wkly. Notes Cas. (Pa.) 502. A distinction is also sometimes made in commercial usage, by which the term "guaranty" is understood as a collateral warranty (often a conditional one) against some default or event in the future, while the term "warranty" is taken as meaning an absolute undertaking in præsenti, against the defect, or for the quantity or quality contemplated by the parties in the subject-matter of the contract. Sturges v. Bank of Circleville, 11 Ohio St. 169, 78 Am. Dec. 296. But in strict legal usage the two terms are widely distinguished in this, that a warranty is an absolute undertaking or liability on the part of the warrantor, and the contract is void unless it is strictly and literally performed, while a guaranty is a promise, entirely collateral to the original contract, and not imposing any primary liability on the guarantor, but binding him to be answerable for the failure or default of another. Masons' Union L. Ins. Ass'n v. Brockman. 20 Ind. App. 206, 50 N. E. 493.
    —Absolute guaranty. An unconditional promise of payment or performance on the default of the principal. Mast v. Lehman, 100 Ky. 466, 38 S. W. 1056 ; Beardsley v. Hawes, 71 Co.nn. 39, 40 Atl. 1043; Farmers' Bank v. Tatnall, 7 Houst. (Del.) 287, 31 Atl. 879; Es-berg-Bachman Tobacco Co. v. Heid (D. C) 62 Fed. 962
    —Collateral guaranty. A contract by which the guarantor undertakes, in case the principal fails to do what he has promised or undertaken to do, to pay damages for such failure ; distinguished from an engagement of suretyship in this respect, that a surety undertakes to do the very thing which the principal has promised to do, in case the latter defaults. Woody v. Haworth, 24 Ind. App. 634, 57 N. E. 272 ; Nading v. McGregor, 121 Ind. 470, 23 N. E. 283. 6 L. R. A. 686.
    —Conditional guaranty. One which depends upon some extraneous event, beyond the mere default of the principal, and generally upon notice of the guaranty, notice of the principal's default, and reasonable diligence in exhausting proper remedies against the principal. Yager v. Title Co., 112 Ky. 932, 66 S. W. 1027 ; Tobacco Co. v. Heid (D. Ct) 62 Fed. 962; Beardsley v. Hawes, 71 Co.nn. 39, 40 Atl. 1043.
    —Continuing guaranty. One relating' to a future liability of the principal, under successive transactions, which either continue his liability or from time to time renew it after it has been satisfied. Sewing Mach. Co. v. Co.urtney, 141 Cal. 674, 75 Pac. 296; Buck v. Burk, 18 N. Y. 340; Bank v. Drake (Iowa) 79 N. W. 121.
    —Special guaranty. A guaranty which is available only to the particular person to whom it is offered or addressed; as distinguished from a general guaranty, which will operate in favor of any person who may accept it. Everson v. Gere, 40 Hun (N. Y.) 250; Tidioute Sav. Bank v. Lib-bay, 101 Wis. 193, 77 N. W. 182, 70 Am. St Rep. 907; Evansville Nat. Bank v. Kauffmann, 93 N. Y. 273, 45 Am. Rep. 2O4.
    —Guarantied stock. See Stock.
    —Guaranty company. A corporation authorized to transact the business of entering into contracts of guaranty and suretyship ; as, one which, for fixed premiums, becomes surety on judicial bonds, fidelity bonds, and the like. See Ætna L. Ins. Co. v. Coulter, 74 S. W. 1050, 25 Ky. Law Rep. .193.
    —Guaranty insurance. See Insurance.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    v. To undertake collaterally to answer for the payment of another's debt or the performance of another's duty, liability or obligation; to assume the responsibility of a guarantor; to warrant See Guaranty, n.