\ 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 The Saints have given the two offensive line coaches excellent depth to work with — but it's been up to them to make sure those players have been up to the task. Luke Johnson, NOLA.com, "Saints' shuffling offensive line has remained a constant with these 2 coaches behind the scenes," 9 Jan. 2021 To be sure, a narrow win out of 4.4 million votes involves plenty of variables. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump officials resign after Capitol mayhem," 7 Jan. 2021 Matt James isn't sure if fans will ever see a romantic reunion between his friends, Tyler Cameron and Hannah Brown. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "Matt James Says He 'Can't Speculate' If Pals Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron Will Get Back Together," 5 Jan. 2021 To be sure, there was not a lot of good stuff left after the collapse of Earth: A Bunch of Civilizations! Seija Rankin, EW.com, "Read Charles Yu's first work of fiction since the National Book Award-winning Interior Chinatown," 5 Jan. 2021 To be sure, orders for Covid cakes don't make up for the loss of bigger ticket treats. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, "Honey, the pandemic shrunk our wedding cake," 5 Jan. 2021 To be sure, after many of us who were lucky enough to be able to spend the roughly 9 months of pandemic life at home, having the motivation to change out of your pajamas at all is no easy feat. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Now’s the Time to Return to Fashionable Leggings," 4 Jan. 2021 To be sure, YouTube — once the main go-to site for video creators — faces more competition from Facebook and rivals such as TikTok that specialize in 15-second videos. Los Angeles Times, "YouTube has gone from Hollywood pariah to partner. Meet the executive who led the change," 4 Jan. 2021 And that is a great platform to help make sure that vaccines are going to go to the most vulnerable. CBS News, "Transcript: Mayor Eric Garcetti on "Face the Nation," January 3, 2021," 3 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Baker Mayfield extending plays and scrambling Mayfield sure appeared comfortable versus a Pittsburgh pass rush without Heyward and Watt. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers playoff preview: What will be different this time around," 4 Jan. 2021 As sure as swimmers took the plunge, other New Year’s Day traditions couldn’t be stopped. Sofia Saric, BostonGlobe.com, "Even a pandemic couldn’t stop New Year’s Day traditions in Boston," 1 Jan. 2021 Snowden sure seems to have a soft spot for China, an authoritarian regime that operates the largest, most sophisticated surveillance state in the history of the world. Rebeccah Heinrichs, Washington Examiner, "Snowden's no hero," 31 Dec. 2020 For a business named Luckin, its luck sure ran out quick. Fortune Editors, Fortune, "The biggest business scandals of 2020," 27 Dec. 2020 Native New Yorker Timothée Chalamet sure knows this. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Timothée Chalamet’s Bodega Fit Is Full of Designer Pieces," 10 Dec. 2020 The first phase in any clinical trial is dedicated to making sure a drug is safe. Glenn Howatt, Star Tribune, "What you need to know about Minnesota's COVID-19 vaccine plan," 8 Dec. 2020 The Saints sure could use a healthy Michael Thomas in the playoffs. Rod Walker, NOLA.com, "Walker: Dear Santa, here's the Christmas wish list for Saints fans everywhere," 23 Dec. 2020 Steffen, however, seemed wholly in his element, the very size of his personality — his booming voice, the bottomless well of amazing stories — perfectly calibrated to reassure less sure-footed newcomers. Reginald Dwayne Betts Kiese Makeba Laymon Carina Del Valle Schorske Dessa Irina Aleksander Sam Dolnick Mark Binelli Maggie Jones Rob Hoerburger Jamie Lauren Keiles Devin Gordon Jazmine Hughes Jenna Wortham Jade Chang Taffy Brodesser-akner Kaitlyn Greenidge Rowan Ricardo Phillips Michael Paterniti Wesley Morris Ismail Muhammad Anthony Giardina, New York Times, "Remembering some of the artists, innovators and thinkers we lost in the past year.," 23 Dec. 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

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sure. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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