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1 : to put beyond hazard of losing or not receiving [ the blessings of liberty "U.S. Constitution preamble"]
2 a : to protect or make certain (as by lien) [make a just and equitable partition and the parties' respective interests "Denton v. Lazenby, 879 P.2d 607 (1994)"]
b : to give security for (as a loan) or otherwise assure the payment, performance, or execution of with security [the court imposed a lien on his property to the judgment]
c : to give or pledge security to (as a creditor)
: to cause to have security or a security interest [a creditor secured by a lien on real property]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.