sure·​fire | \ ˈshu̇r-ˈfī(-ə)r How to pronounce surefire (audio) , ˈshər-\

Definition of surefire

: certain to get successful or expected results a surefire recipe

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Synonyms & Antonyms for surefire


can't-miss, certain, fail-safe, infallible, sure, unfailing



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Examples of surefire in a Sentence

The movie is a surefire hit with teenagers. There is no surefire way to predict the outcome.

Recent Examples on the Web

Those also happen to be surefire monkey-makers and inspire healthy skepticism. Elahe Izadi, Washington Post, "Nicki Minaj says she’s retiring. Does that mean we’ll never hear new music from her?," 5 Sep. 2019 The most surefire way to do that, according to the IPCC, is through reforestation and ecosystem restoration. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "It’s Not Enough to Stop Amazon Deforestation," 29 Aug. 2019 In a time when studios have embraced surefire commercial successes like franchises and reboots, The Goldfinch represents a rare grownup movie with a healthy budget from the studio system: Warner Bros. estimates the film’s cost at $40 million. Time, "Behind the Scenes of The Goldfinch, a Rare and Delicate Hollywood Specimen," 22 Aug. 2019 Keep in mind: These folks want to appear as normal as possible and musical talents is a surefire great ice breaker. Emily Heil,, "Pete Buttigieg plays the didgeridoo and other unexpected musical talents of the 2020 candidates," 8 Aug. 2019 Reducing the number of flights is one of the few surefire ways to curb emissions in the meantime. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Air travel is a huge contributor to climate change. A new global movement wants you to be ashamed to fly.," 1 Aug. 2019 Entering his first year at Texas State, Spavital doesn’t have the luxury of a surefire star behind center. Greg Luca,, "Texas State continues search for starting quarterback as fall camp opens," 31 July 2019 And believe me -- oh never mind) -- is a surefire selection in his side. Glen Levy, CNN, "Confessions of a Fantasy Premier League addict," 30 July 2019 Launching a new initiative is also a surefire way to stoke financial tensions on college campuses. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "A vaunted program for boosting the diversity of U.S. academic scientists is starting to spread," 24 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surefire.' 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 surefire

1846, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for surefire

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for surefire

The first known use of surefire was in 1846

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English Language Learners Definition of surefire

informal : certain not to fail : sure to be successful

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Comments on surefire

What made you want to look up surefire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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