Definition of sure in English:

sure

Pronunciation /ʃʊə//ʃɔː/

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 wasn't exactly sure how to respond to her comment.’
    • ‘Nobody is entirely sure when exactly sheep turned up, but nobody's complaining.’
    • ‘I'm not even sure how to ask that question, let alone answer it.’
    • ‘He was sure of that, as sure as one is of being alive or of eating a piece of bread.’
    • ‘Nobody was too sure what to say, so nobody said anything.’
    • ‘I wasn't exactly sure how to respond to that.’
    • ‘I'm opting for the ninny option but I'm not sure Bill is so convinced.’
    • ‘I'm not really sure how to get around the problem, but I shall.’
    • ‘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 was absolutely sure of myself, sure I was going to make him proud of me and I did.’
    • ‘I'm not 100 percent sure how to tell my mother.’
    • ‘I'm not sure of his objections but I'm sure, if we try, we can reach agreement to our mutual satisfaction.’
    • ‘He sounded absolutely sure of that fact, and I wanted to be.’
    • ‘We all feel very confident and more sure that we are right with every day that passes.’
    • ‘He told me, as if he was absolutely sure of this fact.’
    • ‘I was absolutely sure at that moment I would find myself staring at a big white Game Over.’
    • ‘She felt confident and sure, and the music surging through her enticed her attention.’
    • ‘I wasn't entirely sure how to react to her and that made no sense.’
    • ‘Ryan wasn't exactly sure how to respond to that.’
    • ‘She came home, sure of a good number of those questions, not as sure about several others.’
    certain, positive, convinced, definite, confident, decided, assured, secure, satisfied, persuaded, easy in one's mind, free from doubt
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  • 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.’
    • ‘Actium's impressive gardens are a defining feature and are sure to prove a strong selling point.’
    • ‘This very popular group are sure to receive a very warm welcome in the Western Hotel.’
    • ‘Also sure to prove an attraction will be country singing sensation Patrick Feeney and his band.’
    • ‘Agassi and Sampras will both now have a couple of unplanned weeks to spare in which doubts are sure to be raised.’
    • ‘Demand is likely to be high and with the use of the Middlethorpe stretch still in doubt, tickets are sure to sell out.’
    confident, certain, assured
    bound, destined, fated, predestined, very likely
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  • 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
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    1. 3.1attributive Able to be relied on or trusted.
      ‘her neck was red—a sure sign of agitation’
      • ‘Then it went dead, a sure sign that the raid had been a success.’
      • ‘The spoiler has morphed with lightning speed, a sure sign of this publishing event's place in the culture.’
      • ‘I could see Gareth's head turning crimson, a sure sign of confusion and/or stress.’
      • ‘The one sure sign of true love is when the man gives the woman the last bite of food.’
      • ‘There are even phantom sightings, a sure sign that panic is on the rise.’
      • ‘Teague scowled, and his wings pressed closer to his back, a sure sign of agitation.’
      • ‘Dimitrova said that consumption of high-tech goods was rising, which was a sure sign of higher income.’
      • ‘It should be a sure sign of good summer fishing just around the corner.’
      • ‘My brother's Jeep was in the driveway, a sure sign for destruction.’
      • ‘Some give up - a sure sign that they are not meant for priesthood.’
      • ‘The new Public Service Act lists them explicitly, a sure sign that their survival is threatened.’
      • ‘If you see yourself denouncing jealousy you see in others, it's a sure sign that you yourself are still plagued by it.’
      • ‘I delight in such juicy characters and put Bath's book down wanting more of them - a sure sign of a great read.’
      • ‘It is a sure sign of mirth when the beards of the guests shake with laughter.’
      • ‘Besides those two, the club does have a few sure bets for success.’
      • ‘Evidence of derelict buildings being refurbished at council expense are a sure sign of the nature of the trust.’
      • ‘I know it's a sure sign of getting older, but I just do not get Yu-Gi-Oh!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In some towns old buildings have been demolished and replaced with monstrous modern carbuncles, a sure sign of shelling.’
      • ‘For her, the one-legged cow was a sure sign of the upcoming erosion of moral ecology.’
      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
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  • 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

North American
informal
  • 1Certainly (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
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    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
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Phrases

  • be sure

    • usually in imperativeDo 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.’
      remember to, don't forget to, make sure to, see that you, mind that you, take care to, be certain to, be careful to
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  • for sure

    • informal Without doubt.

      ‘I can't say for sure what Giles really wanted’
      • ‘It's a commitment, for sure, but one that I hope you agree was definitely worth it in the end.’
      • ‘It may not do anything for my friend's mood, but it will make me feel a whole lot better, that's for sure.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cheerful in a different way, for sure, but I still have plenty to be cheery about.’
      • ‘A blog satisfies this for sure and is the best solution for me to write nearly every day.’
      • ‘No one knows for sure the exact position in 50 years' time, as no one has a crystal ball.’
      • ‘One thing was for sure, this pump would not be working by the time I got there.’
      • ‘The one thing for sure is that he's not doing it for the sake of doing us a favour.’
      • ‘It occurs to me that they're all a bunch of freaks, but it was hard to tell for sure.’
      definitely, surely, certainly, without doubt, without question, beyond any doubt, undoubtedly, indubitably, positively, absolutely, undeniably, unmistakably
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  • make sure

    • 1Establish that something is definitely so; confirm.

      ‘go and make sure she's all right’
      • ‘A software legal advisor makes sure the evidence is admissible, convincing and legally obtained.’
      • ‘The certifier makes sure the driver has mastered the previous lessons before moving on.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I made sure that they were definitely gone before stepping out from my hiding place.’
      • ‘We made sure we had the bear spray handy before wading into the river to fish.’
      check, confirm, make certain, ensure
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      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.’
        • ‘We want to keep children in their school but make sure that they get very targeted support.’
        • ‘The little girl supported his arm, making sure he did not fall to the ground.’
        • ‘He needs instead to make sure that he can keep their support in the second vote on Thursday.’
        check, confirm, make certain, ensure
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  • (as) sure as eggs is eggs

    • Without any doubt.

      ‘‘You're sure about that?’ ‘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.’
      • ‘Serena was always going to win her first Wimbledon final as 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Had I not encountered Mr Rabbit I'd have ploughed right into them, 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.’
  • sure enough

    • informal Used to introduce a statement that confirms something previously predicted.

      ‘when X-rays were taken, sure enough, there was the needle’
      • ‘The story was always going to be a sitter for the Sunday papers and, sure enough, all three gave it space.’
      • ‘I always say there's no Neil Young like Angry Neil Young and, sure enough, he gets a lot of play.’
      • ‘He stumbles to the kitchen and sure enough, there is hot breakfast and the morning newspaper.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Looking in the bottom of my glass, sure enough, I could see about a centimetre of sediment!’
      • ‘By treating the townsfolk as ignorant beasts incapable of choice, sure enough, they become beasts.’
      • ‘The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.’
  • sure of oneself

    • Very confident of one's own abilities or views.

      ‘he's very sure of himself’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We're told the two sure things in life are death and taxes.’
      • ‘We're going to go over the sure things and long shots this hour.’
      • ‘Right now, we're going to talk about the surprises, both positive and negative, and the sure things.’
      • ‘The only two sure things in life are death and taxes, the old saying goes.’
      • ‘Singapore invests in sure things in Australia because it plans its future as a creditor nation - not like Australia.’
      • ‘The other two events were by no means sure things.’
      • ‘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.’
      inevitability, necessity, foregone conclusion, predictable result, matter of course, racing certainty
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      1. 1.1North American as exclamationCertainly; 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’
      • ‘All of this is disturbing, to be sure, but nothing new to anyone who has ever been involved in this kind of situation.’
      • ‘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.’
      1. 1.1Used for emphasis.
        ‘what an extraordinary woman she was, to be sure’
        • ‘This is, to be sure, not a virtue on our part, but simply an idea we are used to.’
        • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

sure

/ʃʊə//ʃɔː/