\ 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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To be sure, during the height of the pandemic, hospitals needed support from taxpayers to deal with the cost of treating Covid-19 patients and the loss of revenue from elective procedures as people avoided care. Brian Blase, STAT, 14 May 2022 To be sure, Jackson does his part to bridge his worlds. Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 The Cardinals and Raiders play in nice digs, to be sure, but State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas aren’t exactly the hallowed tundra of Lambeau Field. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, 13 May 2022 To be sure, the stock is still down some 40% this year, and is nearly 90% off its peak price. Telis Demos, WSJ, 13 May 2022 Her gardens are magical, to be sure, and are filled with life-size statues made by Nancy Lindsey-Janusz, the late artist who had lived in the house before her. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 May 2022 To be sure, these efforts are better than no effort at all. Ben Ray Luján, CNN, 12 May 2022 To be sure, Brown’s decision to name a potential target in a gang conflict is unusual. Stephanie Casanova, Chicago Tribune, 12 May 2022 TheaterWorks’ New Works Festival is living up to its name by making sure the works are as new as possible. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 12 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The Wilds sure knows how to leave you hanging by the end of a season finale — in the best possible way. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 13 May 2022 So, who’s making sure a CFO is not involved in fraud? Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 12 May 2022 Lady Whistledown has sure created a huge buzz around the binge-worthy TV show, Bridgerton! Katarina Avendano, Good Housekeeping, 12 May 2022 This cologne is inspired by the power and domination of boxing, directly hitting the senses for immediate invigoration and inspiration — and the result sure packs a punch. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2022 Well, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sure took us for a ride, huh? Evan Romano, Men's Health, 5 May 2022 Delta might be playing catch-up, but the airline sure is doing so in style. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 5 May 2022 With the interior sure up, Frye can use the next eight months focusing solely on that. Stephen Means, cleveland, 4 May 2022 In the case of the samoyed, selection for physical characteristics produced a dog that sure looks happy. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About sure

Time Traveler for sure

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sure



sure bet

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Statistics for sure

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sure


\ 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

Nglish: Translation of sure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sure for Arabic Speakers


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