\ 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 get started, first make sure sync is on for Chrome. Brooke Crothers, Forbes, 6 June 2021 The sure acknowledgement tickled something in our lizard brains. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 6 June 2021 When considering package deals at lower-demand times, look over them closely to make sure discounts for low-demand visit times are being passed through to you and not being absorbed as profit for the deal provider., cleveland, 6 June 2021 The usually sure-handed Meoño had a hard time collecting it and throwing home as a runner crossed the plate. Pj Brown, The Arizona Republic, 5 June 2021 For a 5-minute warm-up, do this circuit once, making sure to move slowly and with control. Elizabeth Millard, SELF, 5 June 2021 Amini outfitted the fully furnished estate with one-of-a-kind pieces and made sure all the home’s hardware — door handles, stairway railings, etc. — was coated in 24-karat gold. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2021 Scott Seus, who owns Seus Family Farms in Tulelake, isn’t so sure about that. oregonlive, 4 June 2021 Albert said that Activision has an interest in making sure its title does not become a generic term as well, given knockoff games. Washington Post, 4 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Even in an era where everyone is claiming that theatrical doesn’t matter or streaming is the future, Sony sure seems to care about the best possible release date even for a comparatively small-scale flick like The Runaway. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 26 May 2021 The pending free agent sure would have looked good in green and gold down the stretch ... Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 9 Nov. 2020 Simone Biles and her ever-expanding array of signature skills sure look ready for the Tokyo Olympics. Arkansas Online, 23 May 2021 Shortages of everything from microchips to ketchup sure seem to indicate that a continued rise in prices is on the way. Michael Foster, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Comparing teams from different decades is a precarious exercise, at best, but Los Angeles sure seems to match up well with some of baseball's most iconic teams. Paul Newberry, Star Tribune, 23 Apr. 2021 Elliott Laffer, chairperson of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, sure hopes the Dartmouth Street closures aren’t too frequent., 29 Apr. 2021 The movie is not very good, but the trailer sure is. Tim Grierson, Vulture, 26 Apr. 2021 Birmingham coach EB Madha has long believed this could be one of his best teams, and the Patriots sure looked dominant in a 4-0 victory, improving to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the West Valley League. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 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

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 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

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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