\ 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 Also, be sure to check last week's waiver wire picks to see if any of those players are still available in your league. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Fantasy football waiver wire: Steelers' Chase Claypool rises to the top of deep wide receiver pool," 14 Oct. 2020 The humidifier also has an easy refill plug with a no-drip design to help make sure messes don’t happen. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "Humidity can help ward off coronavirus transmission: Here’s a list of top humidifiers," 14 Oct. 2020 But others aren't so sure that Cyber Command is the right arm of the US government to be carrying out attacks on global cybercrime organizations. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "A Trickbot Assault Shows US Military Hackers' Growing Reach," 14 Oct. 2020 Below, 15 items that are sure to put some pep into your step this week and beyond. Rachel Besser, Vogue, "Put Some Pep Into Your Step With These 15 Items," 13 Oct. 2020 TVs, toys, electronics, kitchen, home, fashion and beauty are sure to be hot categories during the 48-hour sales event as well as Amazon devices. oregonlive, "Amazon Prime Day 2020: Tips to get the best deals on appliances, fashion and smart devices," 13 Oct. 2020 Be sure to bookmark this page as well, and keep checking back for lightning deals to snap up. Sarah Han, Allure, "29 Beauty Essentials to Stock Up on During Amazon Prime Day," 13 Oct. 2020 Since these discounts are available for a limited time only (now through 11:59 p.m. PT on October 14), be sure to keep checking this page for updates on the must-have beauty markdowns available at Amazon. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "26 Amazing Beauty Deals to Shop This Amazon Prime Day," 13 Oct. 2020 At such low prices, these collectibles are sure to sell out fast. Nina Huang, EW.com, "Schitt’s Creek, Mandalorian, and Game of Thrones Funko Pops are as little as $4 for Amazon Prime Day," 13 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Lincoln Riley sure isn’t used to this after taking Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff each of his first three years since replacing Stoops. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "No. 22 Texas-Oklahoma live stream (10/10): How to watch Red River rivalry online, TV, time," 10 Oct. 2020 Well, the Yankees sure seemed to embrace it Thursday, relying on Jordan Montgomery to deliver his biggest start of the season, with five shutout innings from the rest of the bullpen, setting the stage for Cole, their $324 million man. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "The Yankees pitch their way to even ALDS, turn to ace Gerrit Cole for decisive Game 5 against Rays," 9 Oct. 2020 Brother Rice’s Mikey Corcoran sure liked the course. Jeff Vorva, chicagotribune.com, "Boys cross country notes: Don Molenda describes first race on Brother Rice’s campus since 1988 as ‘pretty neat’," 8 Oct. 2020 An embarrassing 31-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday sure changed that. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "NFL power rankings: Arizona Cardinals' playoff chances take major hit with Week 4 loss," 7 Oct. 2020 Lead singles don’t always hit the mark, but MGK sure knocked his out of the ballpark this time around. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Machine Gun Kelly's 'Tickets to My Downfall' Debuts at No. 1," 6 Oct. 2020 Whether it’s funding a funeral or simply making sure a family can put food on the table, mutual aid networks are give-and-take relationships in which communities support one another. Brooke Henderson, Fortune, "Early members of ‘Wall of Moms’ reflect on where they went wrong as protests in Portland continue," 6 Oct. 2020 The Browns sure messed with Texas in their 49-38 shootout win over the host Cowboys on Sunday at AT&T Stadium. cleveland, "Our favorite Browns photos from big win at Dallas Cowboys: Joshua Gunter, John Kuntz," 5 Oct. 2020 And the image of a trimmer but buffer T.J. Hockenson, sporting a backward cap, a scruffy beard and long, curly hair, sure did a lot of talking Monday. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Lions' TJ Hockenson optimistic after training with college teammate/All-Pro George Kittle," 19 Aug. 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

17 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sure. Accessed 20 Oct. 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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