\ 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 Cuoco's makeup artist Jamie Greenberg made sure to give the nominee's skin some glow by prepping with the CurrentBody LED Light Therapy Mask. Kaitlyn Frey,, "See How Stars Are Getting Ready for the First Virtual Golden Globe Awards," 28 Feb. 2021 This context might explain why Bosworth made sure to caveat that Facebook will only roll out the software if people want it during an Instagram Q&A later Thursday evening. Rebecca Bellan, Forbes, "Facebook AR Glasses To Release This Year, Might Include Facial Recognition," 28 Feb. 2021 Meanwhile, the non-Trump presidential contenders themselves made sure to show deference to the former president. Tyler Olson, Fox News, "Trump to speak at CPAC in first major address since leaving office, as GOP searches for path forward," 28 Feb. 2021 Not sure his fifth Globe will be for Hunters, necessarily. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "Who Should (and Will) Win at the 2021 Golden Globe Awards?," 26 Feb. 2021 So, the actor made sure to start rehearsing with the eyepatch right away. Lia Beck,, "Billie Holiday Star Da’Vine Joy Randolph Is On A Mission To Tell Un-Google-able Women’s Stories," 26 Feb. 2021 Madeleine Thompson and her eponymous label have made sure that jumpsuits in the luxe textile have never looked better. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Go Beyond the Cashmere Sweater and Wrap Yourself in These Luxurious Extras—Bras, Socks, Pants," 25 Feb. 2021 Jenkins even found a way to get some of his namesake coffee and made sure to praise the business in an Instagram post. April Siese, CBS News, "Five Black businesses making a difference in their communities and thriving despite COVID-19," 24 Feb. 2021 Wiseman, and especially Paschall, made sure Curry and Green could get their usual rest Wednesday. Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle, "Young combo of James Wiseman, Eric Paschall offer Warriors an intriguing duo," 24 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb In the closing minutes as Wisconsin crept within a shot of a dramatic comeback, Illinois sure could have used its clutch player. Shannon Ryan,, "Column: No. 5 Illinois wins again without injured star Ayo Dosunmu. It’s a lesson that can pay off in March.," 28 Feb. 2021 But it sure was proven that the Jazz could both hang and win. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Showtime showdown? Nope, Utah Jazz roll to blowout over short-handed, overmatched Lakers," 24 Feb. 2021 Building from the ground up in professional football means making sure a team is solid on the offensive and defensive lines. Steve Silverman, Forbes, "Minnesota Vikings Must Apply Lessons From The Past: Build Powerful OL And DL In 2021," 24 Feb. 2021 Add chicken, making sure each piece is fully coated, and marinate in refrigerator, at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. Christopher Michel, Country Living, "Tender, Crunchy Air Fryer Fried Chicken," 17 Feb. 2021 Despite the odds, COVID sure has produced a lot of art. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, "Here Are All the Movies About COVID at SXSW This Year," 10 Feb. 2021 Baltimore sure seems to be coming together as a team no one will want to draw in the playoffs – assuming the Ravens make it that far. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "32 things we learned from Week 15 of the 2020 NFL season," 21 Dec. 2020 Because while most of us had to put our year on hold, Sacramento sure didn’t — even though the 372 new laws now in place is the smallest legislative crop since 1967. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: Just leave already, 2020, and let 2021 be," 4 Jan. 2021 But with a massive victory in hand, the Mavericks will sure be happy to return to Dallas on Sunday evening, take the day off Monday, practice Tuesday and play the Hornets in their AAC opener Wednesday. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "3 thoughts on Mavs’ 51-point win over Clippers: Luka Doncic, Dallas show record-setting rhythm and potential," 27 Dec. 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

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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