adjective, sur·er, sur·est.

  1. free from doubt as to the reliability, character, action, etc., of something: to be sure of one’s data.
  2. confident, as of something expected: sure of success.
  3. convinced, fully persuaded, or positive: to be sure of a person’s guilt.
  4. assured or certain beyond question: a sure victory.
  5. worthy of confidence; reliable; stable: a sure messenger.
  6. unfailing; never disappointing expectations: a sure cure.
  7. unerring; never missing, slipping, etc.: a sure aim.
  8. admitting of no doubt or question: sure proof.
  9. destined; bound inevitably; certain: sure death.
  10. Obsolete. secure; safe.
  11. be sure, to take care (to be or do as specified); be certain: Be sure to close the windows.


  1. Informal. certainly; surely: It sure is cold out. Sure, I’ll come.


  1. for sure, as a certainty; surely: It’s going to be a good day, for sure.
  2. make sure, to be or become absolutely certain: I’m calling to make sure that you remember to come.
  3. sure enough, Informal. as might have been supposed; actually; certainly: Sure enough, the picnic was rained out.
  4. to be sure,
    1. without doubt; surely; certainly.
    2. admittedly: She sings well, to be sure, but she can’t act.


  1. (sometimes foll by of) free from hesitancy or uncertainty (with regard to a belief, conviction, etc)we are sure of the accuracy of the data; I am sure that he is lying
  2. (foll by of) having no doubt, as of the occurrence of a future state or eventsure of success
  3. always effective; unfailinga sure remedy
  4. reliable in indication or accuracya sure criterion
  5. (of persons) worthy of trust or confidencea sure friend
  6. not open to doubtsure proof
  7. admitting of no vacillation or doubthe is very sure in his beliefs
  8. bound to be or occur; inevitablevictory is sure
  9. (postpositive) bound inevitably (to be or do something); certainshe is sure to be there tonight
  10. physically secure or dependablea sure footing
  11. obsolete free from exposure to harm or danger
  12. be sure (usually imperative or dependent imperative; takes a clause as object or an infinitive, sometimes with to replaced by and) to be careful or certainbe sure and shut the door; I told him to be sure to shut the door
  13. for sure without a doubt; surely
  14. make sure
    1. (takes a clause as object)to make certain; ensure
    2. (foll by of)to establish or confirm power or possession (over)
  15. sure enough informal as might have been confidently expected; definitely: often used as a sentence substitute
  16. to be sure
    1. without doubt; certainly
    2. it has to be acknowledged; admittedly


  1. (sentence substitute) informal willingly; yes
  2. (sentence modifier) informal, mainly US and Canadian without question; certainly

adj.c.1300, “safe, secure,” later “mentally certain” (mid-15c.), from Old French sur, seur “safe, secure,” from Latin securus “free from care, untroubled, heedless, safe” (see secure (adj.)). Pronunciation development followed that of sugar. As an affirmative meaning “yes, certainly” it dates from 1803, from Middle English meanings “firmly established; having no doubt,” and phrases like to be sure (1650s), sure enough (1540s), and for sure (1580s). The use as a qualifier meaning “assuredly” goes back to early 15c. Sure-footed is from 1630s; sure thing dates from 1836. In 16c.-17c., Suresby was an appellation for a person to be depended upon. In addition to the idioms beginning with sure

  • sure as shooting
  • sure cure
  • sure enough
  • sure of oneself
  • sure thing
  • also see:

  • for certain (sure)
  • make sure
  • slow but sure
  • to be sure
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