sure

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

Definition of sure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 obsolete : safe from danger or harm
2 : firmly established : steadfast a sure hold
3 : reliable, trustworthy a sure friend
4a : 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
5 : admitting of no doubt : indisputable spoke from sure knowledge
6a : bound to happen : inevitable sure disaster
b : bound, destined is sure to win
7 : careful to remember, attend to, or find out something be sure to lock the door
for sure
: without doubt or question : certainly
to be sure
: it must be acknowledged : admittedly

sure

adverb

Definition of sure (Entry 2 of 2)

: surely

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Other Words from sure

Adjective

sureness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for sure

Adjective

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

Adverb

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

Representatives from Boeing and Lockheed Martin are known to have toured the spaceport recently, which is a sure sign of interest from the aerospace bigs. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Can the U.S. Save Alcantara, Brazil’s Cursed Spaceport?," 20 Mar. 2019 Of course, eco-mindedness lies at the core of all indigenous design; many designers approach their relationship with materials from a more spiritual level and make sure to minimize waste throughout the construction process. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "How These Shapely Statement Earrings Celebrate Coast Salish Culture," 13 Mar. 2019 Not sure what to choose amongst all that green goodness? Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Whole Foods' Annual Beauty Week Event Has Arrived and Every Product Is on Sale," 12 Mar. 2019 Don’t just rely on the in-ceiling lighting—make sure to bring in a great desk lamp, table lamps on a credenza, or a floor lamp. Liz Cantrell, ELLE Decor, "How to Make Your Office a "Home Away From Home"," 25 Feb. 2019 He and his team not only allowed Epstein to avoid a long prison sentence but also worked with Epstein’s lawyers to make sure the case was kept as quiet as possible. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 Explore with color and pattern, and just be sure everyone agrees on it. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "How to Design a Gender-Neutral Room That's Anything But Bland," 28 Feb. 2019 The proposal has been met with acclaim by various Democratic presidential candidates and environmental groups, and is sure to be much discussed during the 2020 campaign. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Green Deal, Explaind: What's Actually in the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Energy Plan?," 8 Feb. 2019 Universal Pictures To be sure, there are a few scenes in which the movie overcomes this setup, to say something real about how expectations based on race, class, and identity can wreak havoc on a person’s soul. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Green Book builds a feel-good comedy atop an artifact of shameful segregation. Yikes.," 7 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Sources: the companies Mr. Saikawa has said his immediate focus is making sure the revelations don’t hamper Nissan’s operations. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Carlos Ghosn Was Too Powerful, Nissan’s CEO Says," 26 Nov. 2018 Other key advice includes making sure the player doesn’t forget to put on some rock-star facial expressions. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "How to slay at the U.S. Air Guitar Regional Championships in Philadelphia," 27 June 2018 So at a glance Kemba Walker sure makes point guard this team’s strength. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte Hornets history: How NBA draft week is often trade week, too," 16 June 2018 Between this and being on the wrong end of Ibrahimovic's debut, LAFC sure has made a habit of getting involved in some high-scoring thrillers in its inaugural season. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "The MLS XI, Week 15: Au Revoir, Patrick Vieira," 11 June 2018 Men’s heels are much more of a commitment than my go-to sneakers, sure, but can give you that extra pep in your step. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Men In Heels? I Put the Tricky Trend to the Test," 26 Feb. 2019 The latest line augmentation research at DARPA, the Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program, is focused on one key part of augmenting soldiers: making sure the effects can be reversed. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Short-Term Superhuman: If We Create Augmented Soldiers, Can We Turn Them Back?," 25 Sep. 2018 The only thing that matters in those first few fevered weeks is making sure the little one is okay. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Putting Your Family First Doesn’t Make You a Better Mom," 14 Jan. 2019 The unveiling of the $1 billion-plus project has been delayed–again–and now slated for opening in early 2019, but Egypt has been preparing for its arrival and the influx of domestic and international tourism the opening is sure to attract. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 19 Best Places to Travel in 2019," 10 Jan. 2019

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

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sure

Adjective

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

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Learn More about sure

Dictionary Entries near sure

surculose

surculus

surd

sure

sure bet

sure-enough

sure enough

Statistics for sure

Last Updated

7 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sure

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

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More Definitions for sure

sure

adjective

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

sure

adverb

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

informal
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

sure

adjective
\ 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.

sure

adverb

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sure

Spanish Central: Translation of sure

Nglish: Translation of sure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sure for Arabic Speakers

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