sure

adjective
\ ˈshu̇r How to pronounce sure (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has promised to sue in court to make sure this law, a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, doesn't go into effect. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Alabama's Abortion Ban Bill Is Frightening and Outraging Women Everywhere," 15 May 2019 That's an acting choice, for sure, and one that's served her well on Riverdale through three seasons. Alanna Bennett, Teen Vogue, "Camila Mendes Is Taking It All in Stride," 1 May 2019 Released in February, BioWare finally managed this week to make the inventory accessible during missions, and without a load screen—a significant step, for sure. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: A first look at Vampire: The Masquerade 2 (sort-of) and Overwatch's new script editor," 22 Apr. 2019 And while that exact figure is hard to verify for sure, Meghan has accomplished no shortage of high-paying gigs. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Meghan Markle's Net Worth?," 16 Apr. 2019 Representatives from Boeing and Lockheed Martin are known to have toured the spaceport recently, which is a sure sign of interest from the aerospace bigs. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Can the U.S. Save Alcantara, Brazil’s Cursed Spaceport?," 20 Mar. 2019 Of course, eco-mindedness lies at the core of all indigenous design; many designers approach their relationship with materials from a more spiritual level and make sure to minimize waste throughout the construction process. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "How These Shapely Statement Earrings Celebrate Coast Salish Culture," 13 Mar. 2019 Not sure what to choose amongst all that green goodness? Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Whole Foods' Annual Beauty Week Event Has Arrived and Every Product Is on Sale," 12 Mar. 2019 Don’t just rely on the in-ceiling lighting—make sure to bring in a great desk lamp, table lamps on a credenza, or a floor lamp. Liz Cantrell, ELLE Decor, "How to Make Your Office a "Home Away From Home"," 25 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Thankfully, Lyanna stuck around as Weiss noted, and became a key character in helping elect Jon as King in the North in Season 7 and making sure all of the Bear Island troops were prepared to fight in the Battle of Winterfell. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Lyanna Mormont of Bear Island Was Only Supposed to Be in One Scene of "Game of Thrones"," 29 Apr. 2019 Elementally, fire and air feed each other and make each other stronger: the challenge for anyone with this combination is making sure they’re grounded. Jeanna Kadlec, Allure, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Birth Chart, Explained," 26 Mar. 2019 Challenges abound in making sure all schools give strong phonics lessons. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "Schools Seen as Falling Short in a Pillar of Teaching Reading," 26 Dec. 2018 In addition to making sure all FedEx flights depart and land safely, the people in this room solve logistical problems like Singapore, mostly using redundancies built into the network. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Inside FedEx’s Christmas Miracle," 19 Dec. 2018 But Voyage is making sure not to fall into that trap. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Waymo’s ambitious plans for high-speed taxis could be holding it back," 3 Dec. 2018 Sources: the companies Mr. Saikawa has said his immediate focus is making sure the revelations don’t hamper Nissan’s operations. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Carlos Ghosn Was Too Powerful, Nissan’s CEO Says," 26 Nov. 2018 Other key advice includes making sure the player doesn’t forget to put on some rock-star facial expressions. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "How to slay at the U.S. Air Guitar Regional Championships in Philadelphia," 27 June 2018 So at a glance Kemba Walker sure makes point guard this team’s strength. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte Hornets history: How NBA draft week is often trade week, too," 16 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sure

Dictionary Entries near sure

surculose

surculus

surd

sure

sure bet

sure-enough

sure enough

Statistics for sure

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sure

The first known use of sure was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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
used to say that something will definitely happen or that someone will definitely do something usually followed by to + verb

sure

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of sure (Entry 2 of 2)

informal
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 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.

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!