Definition of sure in English:

sure

Pronunciation /ʃɔː/ /ʃʊə/

adjective

  • 1predicative, often with clause Completely confident that one is right.

    ‘I'm sure I've seen that dress before’
    ‘she had to check her diary to be sure of the day of the week’
    • ‘I'm not sure of his objections but I'm sure, if we try, we can reach agreement to our mutual satisfaction.’
    • ‘She came home, sure of a good number of those questions, not as sure about several others.’
    • ‘I was absolutely sure of myself, sure I was going to make him proud of me and I did.’
    • ‘He was sure of that, as sure as one is of being alive or of eating a piece of bread.’
    • ‘She felt confident and sure, and the music surging through her enticed her attention.’
    • ‘We all feel very confident and more sure that we are right with every day that passes.’
    • ‘This has been done keeping in mind the fact that fans of the game are often not too sure about the various positions of the players in the game.’
    • ‘I'm opting for the ninny option but I'm not sure Bill is so convinced.’
    • ‘I wasn't entirely sure how to react to her and that made no sense.’
    • ‘Nobody is entirely sure when exactly sheep turned up, but nobody's complaining.’
    • ‘I wasn't exactly sure how to respond to her comment.’
    • ‘Ryan wasn't exactly sure how to respond to that.’
    • ‘I wasn't exactly sure how to respond to that.’
    • ‘I was absolutely sure at that moment I would find myself staring at a big white Game Over.’
    • ‘Nobody was too sure what to say, so nobody said anything.’
    • ‘I'm not really sure how to get around the problem, but I shall.’
    • ‘He sounded absolutely sure of that fact, and I wanted to be.’
    • ‘He told me, as if he was absolutely sure of this fact.’
    • ‘I'm not even sure how to ask that question, let alone answer it.’
    • ‘I'm not 100 percent sure how to tell my mother.’
    certain, positive, convinced, definite, confident, decided, assured, secure, satisfied, persuaded, easy in one's mind, free from doubt
    View synonyms
  • 2sure of/to do somethingCertain to receive, get, or do something.

    ‘United are sure of a UEFA Cup place’
    ‘it's sure to rain before morning’
    • ‘Cameras are expensive, but ask the avid photographer and you are sure to receive a nonchalant shrug.’
    • ‘This very popular group are sure to receive a very warm welcome in the Western Hotel.’
    • ‘Demand is likely to be high and with the use of the Middlethorpe stretch still in doubt, tickets are sure to sell out.’
    • ‘Agassi and Sampras will both now have a couple of unplanned weeks to spare in which doubts are sure to be raised.’
    • ‘Actium's impressive gardens are a defining feature and are sure to prove a strong selling point.’
    • ‘Also sure to prove an attraction will be country singing sensation Patrick Feeney and his band.’
    confident, certain, assured
    bound, destined, fated, predestined, very likely
    View synonyms
  • 3True beyond any doubt.

    ‘what is sure is that learning is a complex business’
    unquestionable, indisputable, incontestable, irrefutable, incontrovertible, undeniable, indubitable, beyond question, beyond doubt
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1attributive Able to be relied on or trusted.
      ‘her neck was red—a sure sign of agitation’
      • ‘Teague scowled, and his wings pressed closer to his back, a sure sign of agitation.’
      • ‘Evidence of derelict buildings being refurbished at council expense are a sure sign of the nature of the trust.’
      • ‘I delight in such juicy characters and put Bath's book down wanting more of them - a sure sign of a great read.’
      • ‘Dimitrova said that consumption of high-tech goods was rising, which was a sure sign of higher income.’
      • ‘If you see yourself denouncing jealousy you see in others, it's a sure sign that you yourself are still plagued by it.’
      • ‘The spoiler has morphed with lightning speed, a sure sign of this publishing event's place in the culture.’
      • ‘In some towns old buildings have been demolished and replaced with monstrous modern carbuncles, a sure sign of shelling.’
      • ‘It is a sure sign of mirth when the beards of the guests shake with laughter.’
      • ‘I could see Gareth's head turning crimson, a sure sign of confusion and/or stress.’
      • ‘Knowing this as a sure sign of water below, the youth and his brothers returned to the same place and dug the layers of time away.’
      • ‘There are even phantom sightings, a sure sign that panic is on the rise.’
      • ‘I know it's a sure sign of getting older, but I just do not get Yu-Gi-Oh!’
      • ‘For her, the one-legged cow was a sure sign of the upcoming erosion of moral ecology.’
      • ‘The new Public Service Act lists them explicitly, a sure sign that their survival is threatened.’
      • ‘It should be a sure sign of good summer fishing just around the corner.’
      • ‘Then it went dead, a sure sign that the raid had been a success.’
      • ‘Besides those two, the club does have a few sure bets for success.’
      • ‘Some give up - a sure sign that they are not meant for priesthood.’
      • ‘My brother's Jeep was in the driveway, a sure sign for destruction.’
      • ‘The one sure sign of true love is when the man gives the woman the last bite of food.’
      guaranteed, unfailing, infallible, unerring, assured, certain, inevitable, incontestable, irrevocable
      reliable, dependable, trustworthy, unfailing, infallible, never-failing, certain, unambiguous, tested, tried and true, true, foolproof, established, effective, efficacious
      View synonyms
  • 4Showing confidence or assurance.

    ‘the drawings impress by their sure sense of rhythm’
    • ‘It lacks the usually sure sense of design that Conran brings.’
    firm, steady, stable, secure, confident, solid, steadfast, unhesitating, unfaltering, unwavering, unswerving
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adverb

  • 1North American informal Certainly (used for emphasis)

    ‘Texas sure was a great place to grow up’
    • ‘For two decades, though, his constituents have sure voted as if they wanted lower taxes.’
    yes, all right, of course, indeed, certainly, absolutely, agreed
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1as exclamation Used to show assent.
      ‘‘Are you serious?’ ‘Sure.’’
      • ‘He wasn't there when I rang but a couple of hours later the answer came back - sure, no problem.’
      • ‘Increasingly they do, but, sure, it's a major aspect of the museum that needs to be out there more.’
      • ‘She's still a part of my life and, sure, it hurts sometimes to think about us not being together in the same way that we once were.’
      • ‘I mean, part of me is able to dismiss it - sure, I've kissed a fair number of people.’
      yes, all right, of course, indeed, certainly, absolutely, agreed
      View synonyms

Phrases

    be sure
    • usually in imperative Do not fail (used to emphasize an instruction)

      with infinitive ‘be sure to pop in’
      with clause ‘be sure that you know what is required’
      • ‘If you decide to visit Ren or a similar bar be sure to have accompaniment of the best kind.’
    make sure
    • 1Establish that something is definitely so; confirm.

      ‘go and make sure she's all right’
      • ‘I made sure that they were definitely gone before stepping out from my hiding place.’
      • ‘A software legal advisor makes sure the evidence is admissible, convincing and legally obtained.’
      • ‘He makes sure he has a warrant of fitness, he does everything right, and he goes on the road and is completely within the Road Code.’
      • ‘The certifier makes sure the driver has mastered the previous lessons before moving on.’
      • ‘We made sure we had the bear spray handy before wading into the river to fish.’
      • ‘Your sister and I have made sure that the treaty was settled fairly and ratified on both sides.’
      • ‘Removing the loads, he checked them and made sure the barrels were clear.’
      • ‘We carried out a check on all other bridges in the area and made sure they were secure.’
      • ‘Kirsty spends most of her waking hours doing the housework and making sure her mother has everything she needs.’
      1. 1.1Ensure that something is done or happens.
        ‘he made sure that his sons were well educated’
        • ‘So you can buy a guarantee to make sure the annuity pays out for at least five or ten years, even if you die.’
        • ‘Thus, the government was just making sure that nothing would happen on the day before.’
        • ‘Yet neither government has proved capable of making sure that money is well spent.’
        • ‘The little girl supported his arm, making sure he did not fall to the ground.’
        • ‘We want to keep children in their school but make sure that they get very targeted support.’
        • ‘He needs instead to make sure that he can keep their support in the second vote on Thursday.’
    (as) sure as eggs is eggs
    • Without any doubt.

      ‘‘You're sure about that?’ ‘Sure as eggs is eggs.’’
      • ‘If we don't, sure as eggs is eggs, the food chain will become corrupted beyond repair, and the gene pool turned back into primal soup.’
      • ‘Had I not encountered Mr Rabbit I'd have ploughed right into them, sure as eggs is eggs.’
      • ‘Second, it is a fact that two cockerels in proximity - whether bred for fighting or not - will, as sure as eggs is eggs, eventually attempt to murder each other.’
      • ‘Serena was always going to win her first Wimbledon final as sure as eggs is eggs.’
      • ‘If you're shopping around for a personal loan, as sure as eggs is eggs, you'll be offered payment protection insurance.’
      • ‘Be very wary of telling the salesperson your maximum budget because, as sure as eggs is eggs, you'll end up paying this - and often even more.’
      • ‘She'll try for another position in London, sure as eggs is eggs.’
      • ‘The cat doesn't want to be watched and I sure as eggs is eggs don't want to see.’
      • ‘It is as sure as fate that, as long as such a direct method of attack exists, it will be used.’
      • ‘This year it took until the 3 days before the end of the holiday, but as sure as eggs is eggs it happened.’
    sure enough
    informal
    • Used to introduce a statement that confirms something previously predicted.

      ‘when X-rays were taken, sure enough, there was the needle’
      • ‘I always say there's no Neil Young like Angry Neil Young and, sure enough, he gets a lot of play.’
      • ‘The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.’
      • ‘I tried looking for a map of Sydney, and sure enough, they claimed I was in the middle of that map too.’
      • ‘There was nothing I could do about it but wait and, sure enough, after twenty minutes or so the problem fixed itself.’
      • ‘The story was always going to be a sitter for the Sunday papers and, sure enough, all three gave it space.’
      • ‘Looking in the bottom of my glass, sure enough, I could see about a centimetre of sediment!’
      • ‘They tried it and sure enough, the ship turned over and quickly sank.’
      • ‘I tried my hand at stream of consciousness and, sure enough, the words came out but they were devoid of substance.’
      • ‘By treating the townsfolk as ignorant beasts incapable of choice, sure enough, they become beasts.’
      • ‘He stumbles to the kitchen and sure enough, there is hot breakfast and the morning newspaper.’
    for sure
    informal
    • Without doubt.

      ‘I can't say for sure what Giles really wanted’
      • ‘No one knows for sure the exact position in 50 years' time, as no one has a crystal ball.’
      • ‘It's a commitment, for sure, but one that I hope you agree was definitely worth it in the end.’
      • ‘All we know for sure is that he seems to enjoy some sort of position of authority at the bar.’
      • ‘Whether that is a problem of this production or whether of the opera itself I can't say for sure.’
      • ‘It may not do anything for my friend's mood, but it will make me feel a whole lot better, that's for sure.’
      • ‘A blog satisfies this for sure and is the best solution for me to write nearly every day.’
      • ‘The one thing for sure is that he's not doing it for the sake of doing us a favour.’
      • ‘Cheerful in a different way, for sure, but I still have plenty to be cheery about.’
      • ‘It occurs to me that they're all a bunch of freaks, but it was hard to tell for sure.’
      • ‘One thing was for sure, this pump would not be working by the time I got there.’
    sure of oneself
    • Very confident of one's own abilities or views.

      ‘he's very sure of himself’
      • ‘I think I am reminding myself of what it feels like to feel attractive, confident, sure of myself.’
      • ‘Among the better Christmas presents would be a more vigorous parliament, sure of itself and its abilities and working all the time for a better Scotland.’
      • ‘Quite confident and sure of himself, Himanshu knows his heart and most importantly knows that it speaks the truth.’
      • ‘If you have a high level you will be confident, happy and sure of yourself.’
      • ‘Since they are all so sure of themselves and so confident in their intuition and hunches, they seldom stop and analyze those on-the-spot decisions they so often make.’
    sure thing
    • 1informal A certainty.

      ‘I told my mates it was a sure thing and they put every last penny on that horse of yours’
      • ‘We're going to go over the sure things and long shots this hour.’
      • ‘There are no sure things in any sport, least of all in the fickle game of golf, but it will be a major upset if he does not win the $3m Bay Hill Invitational today.’
      • ‘We're told the two sure things in life are death and taxes.’
      • ‘Right now, we're going to talk about the surprises, both positive and negative, and the sure things.’
      • ‘Singapore invests in sure things in Australia because it plans its future as a creditor nation - not like Australia.’
      • ‘The only two sure things in life are death and taxes, the old saying goes.’
      • ‘One of life's sure things is that year on year, the Madden series of American Football games will get better.’
      • ‘They are now favourites to win but as we all know favourites are not sure things at any time.’
      • ‘One of the priorities with first-, second- and third-round picks should be to acquire players who are as close to sure things as possible.’
      • ‘The other two events were by no means sure things.’
      1. 1.1North American as exclamation Certainly; of course.
        ‘‘Can I watch?’ ‘Sure thing.’’
        yes, all right, of course, indeed, certainly, absolutely, agreed
        View synonyms
    to be sure
    • 1Used to concede the truth of something that conflicts with another point that one wishes to make.

      ‘the ski runs are very limited, to be sure, but excellent for beginners’
      • ‘That was unfortunate, to be sure, but certainly not intentional on his part.’
      • ‘Such insouciance sets an example, to be sure, but not the sort that allows match officials to sleep easily.’
      • ‘The wealthy do not speak in one voice, to be sure, but they share a broad common perspective.’
      • ‘All of this is disturbing, to be sure, but nothing new to anyone who has ever been involved in this kind of situation.’
      1. 1.1Used for emphasis.
        ‘what an extraordinary woman she was, to be sure’
        • ‘Nostalgia, to be sure, is a disease, a disease that not even a double dose of reality can cure.’
        • ‘There is reason for bitter reflection upon the demise of the American empire, to be sure.’
        • ‘This is, to be sure, not a virtue on our part, but simply an idea we are used to.’

Origin

Middle English from Old French sur, from Latin securus ‘free from care’.

Pronunciation

sure

/ʃɔː/ /ʃʊə/