sure

adjective
\ ˈshu̇r, 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

Just make sure not to suffocate the plants with them. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "20 Best Terrarium Plants for Every Type of Home," 4 Jan. 2019 The mother wasp taps the egg cases to make sure a roach is inside. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 From the Kardashian-Jenner Christmas Eve party that featured sled riding in gowns to a night of gingerbread decorating with Bella Hadid and The Weeknd, the festivities during the 2018 holiday season sure looked sweet. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "How Celebrities Including Demi Lovato, BTS, Ariana Grande, and Kylie Jenner Spent Christmas," 26 Dec. 2018 Be sure to catch the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes, running through January 6th. Kate Bennis, Good Housekeeping, "How This Rockette and Mother of Four Gets It Done," 20 Dec. 2018 Chalk it up to the Cardi B effect, sure, but more than just having one of the most enthusiastic, authentic spokeswomen and collaborators, Fashion Nova’s rise represents something larger in fashion: community. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Nostalgia Is Officially the Biggest Fashion Trend of 2018," 12 Dec. 2018 For sure, there isn’t much evidence that the trade conflict itself is the main problem for Chinese exports so far—instead, the culprit looks to be slower global growth, particularly in Europe. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "November Trade Winds Blow China Off Course," 10 Dec. 2018 No one knows for sure when Jews first arrived on the island. Leslie Camhi, ELLE Decor, "Inside the World's Most Beautiful Synagogues," 5 Nov. 2018 Scientists aren’t sure of their root cause, but there appears to be a genetic component, since migraines run in families. Tony Dajer, Discover Magazine, "Vertigo, Panic and Trouble Breathing: What's Going On Here?," 19 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

These delightful and fragrant floral arrangements sure to put a smile on your Valentine's face. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "12 Best Valentine's Day Flower Arrangements for That Special Someone," 18 Dec. 2018 Rich user data is Facebook’s most prized possession, and the company sure isn’t throwing it in for free. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why we can’t stop debating whether Facebook sells data," 14 Dec. 2018 There’s a lot of aesthetic and beauty but a big part of it (besides the art) is the science. That’s planning, having a floor plan…you know, things like making sure your sofa fits through the front door. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Original 'Queer Eye' Stars Reunite For TV's Most Stylish Home Makeover Show," 19 Oct. 2018 But the real trick may not be granting superpowers, but rather making sure those effects are temporary. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Short-Term Superhuman: If We Create Augmented Soldiers, Can We Turn Them Back?," 25 Sep. 2018 And sure, LeBron is no stranger to the Los Angeles lifestyle. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "LeBron got swarmed by paparazzi after a dinner with Al Pacino and Leonardo DiCaprio," 12 July 2018 Oh, sure, this is different enough from the 20 things a few questions back. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Herrera's gone, what's next for Royals and worrisome about Chiefs," 19 June 2018 Awkward for them, sure, but amazing for the rest of us. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Gave Hailey Baldwin a Lie Detector Test About Justin Bieber for Carpool Karaoke," 16 Oct. 2018 On the menu: Steaks and seafood, sure, but also specialty entrees such as baby back pork ribs and roasted half chicken. Donald Liebenson, chicagotribune.com, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Beelow's NorthShore in Highland Park," 11 July 2018

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

13 Jan 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

: known to be true or correct

sure

adverb

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

sure

adjective
\ ˈshu̇r \
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

Comments on sure

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