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Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective sure contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of sure are certain, cocksure, and positive. While all these words mean "having no doubt or uncertainty," sure usually stresses the subjective or intuitive feeling of assurance.

felt sure that I had forgotten something

When is certain a more appropriate choice than sure?

In some situations, the words certain and sure are roughly equivalent. However, 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

When would cocksure be a good substitute for sure?

The words cocksure and sure can be used in similar contexts, but cocksure implies presumptuous or careless positiveness.

you're always so cocksure about everything

Where would positive be a reasonable alternative to sure?

The synonyms positive and sure are sometimes interchangeable, but positive intensifies sureness or certainty and may imply opinionated conviction or forceful expression of it.

I'm positive that's the person I saw

Thesaurus Entries Near sure

Cite this Entry

“Sure.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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