\ ˈshu̇r How to pronounce sure (audio) , ˈshər, especially Southern ˈshȯr \
surer; surest

Definition of sure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : marked by or given to feelings of confident certainty I'm sure I'm right
b : characterized by a lack of wavering or hesitation sure brush strokes a sure hand
2 : admitting of no doubt : indisputable spoke from sure knowledge
3a : bound, destined is sure to win
b : bound to happen : inevitable sure disaster
4 : careful to remember, attend to, or find out something be sure to lock the door
5 : firmly established : steadfast a sure hold
6 : reliable, trustworthy a sure friend
7 obsolete : safe from danger or harm
for sure
: without doubt or question : certainly
to be sure
: it must be acknowledged : admittedly



Definition of sure (Entry 2 of 2)

: surely

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Other Words from sure


sureness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for sure


sure, certain, positive, cocksure mean having no doubt or uncertainty. sure usually stresses the subjective or intuitive feeling of assurance. felt sure that I had forgotten something certain may apply to a basing of a conclusion or conviction on definite grounds or indubitable evidence. police are certain about the cause of the fire positive intensifies sureness or certainty and may imply opinionated conviction or forceful expression of it. I'm positive that's the person I saw cocksure implies presumptuous or careless positiveness. you're always so cocksure about everything

Sure vs. Surely: Usage Guide


Most commentators consider the adverb sure to be something less than completely standard; surely is usually recommended as a substitute. Our current evidence shows, however, that sure and surely have become differentiated in use. Sure is used in much more informal contexts than surely. It is used as a simple intensive I can never know how much I bored her, but, be certain, she sure amused me — Norman Mailer and, because it connotes strong affirmation, it is used when the speaker or writer expects to be agreed with. it's a moot point whether politicians are less venal than in Twain's day. But they're sure as the devil more intrusive — Alan Abelson he sure gets them to play — D. S. Looney Surely, like sure, is used as a simple intensive I surely don't want to leave the impression that I had an unhappy childhood — E. C. Welsh but it occurs in more formal contexts than sure. Unlike sure it may be used neutrally—the reader or hearer may or may not agree it would surely be possible, within a few years, to program a computer to construct a grammar — Noam Chomsky and it is often used when the writer is trying to persuade. surely a book on the avant-garde cannot be so conventional — Karl Shapiro

Examples of sure in a Sentence

Adjective She's not sure who will be there. Are you sure you want to go? Are you sure about that? She'll be there, I'm sure of it. Are you sure of the results? The return of the robins is a sure sign of spring. The letter is a sure indication that she cares. Pizza is a sure crowd pleaser. The surest way to lose weight is with diet and exercise. One sure way to improve your health is to stop smoking. Adverb we sure could use your help here
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To be sure, sentiment could change if interest rates pause their months-long climb, or even reverse course. Matt Wirz, WSJ, "Investor Appetite Dwindles for Blue-Chip Bond Funds Amid Losses," 7 Apr. 2021 With this year's summer predicted to be a particularly hot one, there will more than likely be heat advisory warnings throughout the country, so be sure to stay cool, hydrated, and wear your sunscreen! Jada Jackson, House Beautiful, "Expect to Experience a Hotter Than Average Summer This Year," 7 Apr. 2021 To be sure, figuring out if and how much you are owed is complicated, and may require some active effort from people who are owed more money. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Stimulus check: Why your "plus-up" payment might not be as big as you expect," 7 Apr. 2021 Be sure to take this medicine on an empty stomach and try giving it two or three hours to get fully absorbed. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, "Dear Doctor: How bad is the cancer risk from my heavy drinking?," 7 Apr. 2021 To be sure, a number of challenges could thwart the boom, Dimon said, including the risk of new COVID-19 variants and rising debt levels. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon sees post-pandemic boom for US economy," 7 Apr. 2021 To be sure, the book is sometimes tone-deaf in its handling of privilege, with casual mentions of hanging out in the Senate steam room as a young man with the likes of Ted Kennedy. Philip Elliott, Time, "Hunter Biden On Making His Own Crack, Living with His Dealer and His Family’s Effort to Keep Him Alive," 6 Apr. 2021 So be sure any system purchased takes these items into consideration. Tom Mckeown, Forbes, "Ask The Right Questions Before Choosing A People Analytics Solution," 6 Apr. 2021 Check out our recommendations below, but also be sure to explore the full CIFF schedule -- which includes plenty of short films, too -- at Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "15 must-see films at Cleveland International Film Festival 2021," 6 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb For someone who has been on the short end in each of his past three games against Wilcox-Santa Clara — two of them in lopsided fashion — Los Gatos football coach Mark Krail sure is looking forward to Thursday’s meeting with the Chargers. Mitch Stephens, San Francisco Chronicle, "Dominant ground games in spotlight as Los Gatos tries to stay with Wilcox," 7 Apr. 2021 For a dinosaur whose name sounds a lot like a lizard, the Iguanodon sure got around. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "Meet Iguanodon, the big dinosaur that lived in the Texas Hill Country, Germany and England more than 100 million years ago," 6 Apr. 2021 But the results sure sound good: the experimental vaccine produced protective antibodies in 97% of participants. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Buy a COVID vaccine, get an HIV vaccine for free?," 6 Apr. 2021 Phoenix sure didn't look like the NBA's fifth-best defense Monday night. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix Suns: Look back at outlasting Rockets, ahead to major back-to-back tests vs. Jazz, Clippers," 6 Apr. 2021 Besides, after watching his teammates score as many runs in the first six innings (eight) as the Reds scored in any game for him the entire season last year, Bauer sure can get used to his new surroundings. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Trevor Bauer conquers Coors Field in dazzling debut with Los Angeles Dodgers," 3 Apr. 2021 Teammate Rayshon Luke is fast, but Bates sure showed off great speed on a 76-yard touchdown run and finished with 172 yards rushing. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Prep Rally: Trinity League football is in a league of its own," 29 Mar. 2021 This is the first episode of a miniseries, a show that may or may not play like a four-hour movie but seems to be making sure each episode tells a complete story. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, "Review: Marvel’s ‘The Falcon And The Winter Soldier’ Gets Off To A High-Flying Start," 18 Mar. 2021 After all, for such a grueling physical occupation as football, bodies could sure use ample recovery time rather than the additional injury risks that show up as the intensity of workouts progress during OTAs. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "NFL offseason schedule – OTAs and minicamps – on agenda for next week's virtual owners meetings," 27 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sure


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sure


Middle English seur, sure, from Anglo-French seur, from Latin securus secure

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Time Traveler for sure

Time Traveler

The first known use of sure was in the 13th century

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Statistics for sure

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for sure



English Language Learners Definition of sure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not having any doubt about something : convinced or certain
: not allowing any doubt or possibility of failure
used to say that something will definitely happen or that someone will definitely do something usually followed by to + verb



English Language Learners Definition of sure (Entry 2 of 2)

used to say "yes" or to agree to a request or suggestion
used to disagree with a negative statement or suggestion
used to emphasize that you agree with the first part of the statement that you are about to make


\ ˈshu̇r How to pronounce sure (audio) \
surer; surest

Kids Definition of sure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having no doubt : certain … he could not be sure if the scream awakened him or the pain in his stomach.— Gary Paulsen, Hatchet
2 : true without question
3 : firmly established a sure grip
4 : reliable, trustworthy a sure remedy
5 : bound to happen sure disaster
6 : bound as if by fate You are sure to win.



Kids Definition of sure (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : surely sense 2 Sure, we'll be there. “Well, you sure gave me some bad moments. I almost passed out …”— Oliver Butterworth, The Enormous Egg

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More from Merriam-Webster on sure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sure

Nglish: Translation of sure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sure for Arabic Speakers

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