\ 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 Gently structured garments, which were crisp but moved fluidly, made sure the collection began with a minimalist mood. Thomas Adamson, USA TODAY, 4 Oct. 2021 On Monday, Wallace made sure to pose with his white dog Asher for victory photos at the press conference. Dan Heching,, 4 Oct. 2021 Satterfield made sure to make a point that Louisville still had plays to win the game. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, 3 Oct. 2021 Dylan Larkin made a welcome return to the Detroit Red Wings' lineup and a new addition made sure the score added up to another victory. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 3 Oct. 2021 The Red Sox and Yankees, who held a one-game lead over the Blue Jays and Mariners when the day began, made sure that did not happen. San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Oct. 2021 As Berman’s production manager, Procaccino made sure that concerts at such venues as the Sports Arena, SDSU’s Open Air Theatre and Golden Hall downtown went off as scheduled. San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Oct. 2021 Udoka made sure to emphasize this on day one of training camp as well. Chris Grenham, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 Dior made sure that Tuesday’s ready-to-wear comeback — with VIPs such as actress Rosamund Pike and tennis ace Roger Federer — got off to a glitzy start on the first full day of spring-summer 2022 collections. Time, 29 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The foundations of that season and this one sure look similar. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 4 Oct. 2021 For the most part, Jones has been sure-handed since arriving in 2017. Rob Reischel, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2021 Lately, though, Cousins has sure made some strides. Mark Heim |, al, 3 Oct. 2021 Thompson, while not a flashy quarterback or a touted NFL prospect, sure seems to bring it against the Sooners. R.j. Coyle, Dallas News, 30 Sep. 2021 At just five years old, this smiley Chihuahua mix sure has a lot to be grateful for. The Arizona Republic, 24 Sep. 2021 But for patients staring down tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket COVID medical expenses, that carrot may sure start feel much more like a stick. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, 23 Sep. 2021 It for sure offered a better feel than double sports bras. Sarah Spellings, Vogue, 22 Sep. 2021 Pretty sure a person wrote this without any technology more complicated than Microsoft word not a bot! Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, 21 Sep. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near sure



sure bet

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Statistics for sure

Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on sure

Nglish: Translation of sure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sure for Arabic Speakers


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