\ 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)

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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 But wherever there’s interest, there’s sure to be an oddsmaker. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Sports betting could be coming to Kentucky. Here's what to know," 6 Feb. 2020 This is extremely important because in response to past hacking incidents, Amazon Ring did not offer much feedback to customers other than to make sure that two-factor authentication was enabled. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Amazon Ring Rolls Out New Control Center, Allowing Users to Check on Two-Factor Authentication and Opt Out of Law Enforcement Requests," 6 Feb. 2020 Known as the Interactive Kinetic System, the sole has five concave areas that compress with each step, allowing shorter, secondary lugs to grip the ground for sure footing. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, "We Found Six Great Boots at Outdoor Retailer for Every Winter Adventure," 5 Feb. 2020 Before the UIL’s biennial realignment was released Monday, Robert Koopman knew two things for sure about his football team. Ted Dunnam, Houston Chronicle, "Realignment: Friendswood facing longer football road trips," 5 Feb. 2020 Those who can’t update right away can prevent exploits by making sure pwfeedback is disabled. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Serious flaw that lurked in sudo for 9 years hands over root privileges," 4 Feb. 2020 While choosing the location came easy, Kait wasn’t sure the dress-finding process would be. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "When Two Raleigh Food Stars Get Married, the Charcuterie (and the Party) Is Next-Level," 3 Feb. 2020 The aid freeze is the focal point of Trump's impeachment trial, which looks sure to end in an acquittal next week after the witness votes. TheWeek, "The White House is shielding emails related to Trump's involvement with Ukraine aid freeze, court filing reveals," 1 Feb. 2020 The trailing point blade profile cleaves breasts with ease, and the G10 scales set into a machined stainless steel handle afford a sure grip when your other hand is clotted in pin feathers and blood. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "The Best Knives of SHOT Show 2020," 31 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb And going from college to the NBA sure as hell isn’t the same. Tom Orsborn, ExpressNews.com, "Father’s influence led to Spurs’ Lonnie Walker IV’s passion for reading," 6 Feb. 2020 All in all, Pittman is a big-bodied and sure-handed receiver whose consistency would enable him to quickly earn Prescott’s trust. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: Dallas Cowboys restock defense early in full 2020 NFL mock draft," 3 Feb. 2020 And sure, right now that takes time and might be obnoxious to employees at grocery stores. oregonlive, "We tried 6 types of reusable shopping bags; here’s what we discovered," 27 Jan. 2020 Start by making sure your gutters and rain spouts are cleaned out year-round. Carmen Collins, Country Living, "Your Basement Just Flooded! Here's What To Do.," 24 Jan. 2020 Also, shout out to succulents for never dying on us—I'm sure the last thing a mom-to-be wants is a plant that needs constant care, right? Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Christina Anstead's Baby Shower Had a Plant-a-Succlent Station," 24 Jan. 2020 Project Runway’s latest episode is perhaps the perfect proof, and supermodel Karlie Kloss sure knows it well. Sara Li, Teen Vogue, "Karlie Kloss Was Shocked by This Project Runway Contestant’s “Kushner” Remark," 3 Jan. 2020 To his credit, Jeter handled the news with his usual calm eyes and what sure seemed to be a full heart. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, "It’s no crime that Derek Jeter wasn’t a unanimous Hall of Fame choice," 22 Jan. 2020 Making sure all of their needs were answered was a happy process filled with a lot of back-and-forth about how form also needed to have function. Bebe Howorth, ELLE Decor, "Take a Look Inside a Sleek SoHo Duplex Fit for a Family of Six," 6 Jan. 2020

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

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sure. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for sure

How to pronounce sure (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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