Definition of sure in US English:

sure

adjective

  • 1predicative often with clause Confident in what one thinks or knows; having no doubt 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 100 percent sure how to tell my mother.’
    • ‘I'm not even sure how to ask that question, let alone answer it.’
    • ‘I wasn't exactly sure how to respond to her comment.’
    • ‘Nobody was too sure what to say, so nobody said anything.’
    • ‘He was sure of that, as sure as one is of being alive or of eating a piece of bread.’
    • ‘He sounded absolutely sure of that fact, and I wanted to be.’
    • ‘I wasn't exactly sure how to respond to that.’
    • ‘I wasn't entirely sure how to react to her and that made no sense.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He told me, as if he was absolutely sure of this fact.’
    • ‘Ryan wasn't exactly sure how to respond to that.’
    • ‘I'm not really sure how to get around the problem, but I shall.’
    • ‘Nobody is entirely sure when exactly sheep turned up, but nobody's complaining.’
    • ‘She felt confident and sure, and the music surging through her enticed her attention.’
    • ‘I'm not sure of his objections but I'm sure, if we try, we can reach agreement to our mutual satisfaction.’
    • ‘I was absolutely sure at that moment I would find myself staring at a big white Game Over.’
    • ‘We all feel very confident and more sure that we are right with every day that passes.’
    • ‘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.’
    certain, positive, convinced, definite, confident, decided, assured, secure, satisfied, persuaded, easy in one's mind, free from doubt
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    1. 1.1sure of Having a certain prospect or confident anticipation of.
      ‘Ripken can be sure of a place in the Hall of Fame’
      • ‘It means that the user of this database can be sure of the accuracy of the data.’
      • ‘Their main concern is that they cannot be sure of getting their bets on.’
      • ‘What I am sure of is that none of you read all of any one of those series of books.’
      • ‘I can see the difference in my personality and I am not sure of the pros and cons yet.’
      • ‘We were not sure of each other and also about where our relationship was heading.’
      • ‘You can be sure of at least three things when you go to a Rita Chiarelli concert.’
      • ‘I'm not sure of her name, although I could probably ask my grandmother what it was.’
      • ‘It is only by having prescribed limits and a proper testing regime that we can be sure of proving guilt or innocence.’
      • ‘My suitcase contains many things but one thing you can be sure of is that I've probably not got enough pants.’
      • ‘We are not sure of the contents of these tanks, or who owns the land they are on.’
      • ‘When I started work on the movie two years ago I was aware of the theory but wasn't sure of it.’
      • ‘I'm still not sure of what relevance this information is to the election campaign anyway.’
      • ‘It could be weeks before relatives are sure of the fate of those currently missing’
      • ‘If people are uncertain as to who they are uniting against, they seem even less sure of what they are standing up for.’
      • ‘Can they be absolutely sure of the efficacy of their nutritional theories?’
      • ‘There will be nothing easy about it and Westmeath will be no pushover, you can be sure of that.’
      • ‘Even though I know the thing will be ready on time I don't at the moment feel very sure of it.’
      • ‘I can be sure of this because like most people I have experience of both being bullied and being a bully.’
      • ‘He had scouted all the colleges and clubs of Ireland but couldn't find a man he could be sure of.’
      • ‘I am not entirely sure of the absolute usefulness of such a thing, but I can't resist a gadget.’
    2. 1.2with infinitive Certain to do something.
      ‘it's sure to rain before morning’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This very popular group are sure to receive a very warm welcome in the Western Hotel.’
      • ‘Cameras are expensive, but ask the avid photographer and you are sure to receive a nonchalant shrug.’
      • ‘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
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    3. 1.3 True 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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    4. 1.4attributive Able to be relied on or trusted.
      ‘her neck was red—a sure sign of agitation’
      • ‘My brother's Jeep was in the driveway, a sure sign for destruction.’
      • ‘I know it's a sure sign of getting older, but I just do not get Yu-Gi-Oh!’
      • ‘There are even phantom sightings, a sure sign that panic is on the rise.’
      • ‘The spoiler has morphed with lightning speed, a sure sign of this publishing event's place in the culture.’
      • ‘The one sure sign of true love is when the man gives the woman the last bite of food.’
      • ‘The new Public Service Act lists them explicitly, a sure sign that their survival is threatened.’
      • ‘Teague scowled, and his wings pressed closer to his back, a sure sign of agitation.’
      • ‘It should be a sure sign of good summer fishing just around the corner.’
      • ‘It is a sure sign of mirth when the beards of the guests shake with laughter.’
      • ‘I delight in such juicy characters and put Bath's book down wanting more of them - a sure sign of a great read.’
      • ‘In some towns old buildings have been demolished and replaced with monstrous modern carbuncles, a sure sign of shelling.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some give up - a sure sign that they are not meant for priesthood.’
      • ‘Evidence of derelict buildings being refurbished at council expense are a sure sign of the nature of the trust.’
      • ‘I could see Gareth's head turning crimson, a sure sign of confusion and/or stress.’
      • ‘Then it went dead, a sure sign that the raid had been a success.’
      • ‘Dimitrova said that consumption of high-tech goods was rising, which was a sure sign of higher income.’
      • ‘For her, the one-legged cow was a sure sign of the upcoming erosion of moral ecology.’
      • ‘If you see yourself denouncing jealousy you see in others, it's a sure sign that you yourself are still plagued by it.’
      • ‘Besides those two, the club does have a few sure bets for success.’
      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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    5. 1.5 Confident; assured.
      ‘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.”’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He wasn't there when I rang but a couple of hours later the answer came back - sure, no problem.’
      • ‘I mean, part of me is able to dismiss it - sure, I've kissed a fair number of people.’
      • ‘Increasingly they do, but, sure, it's a major aspect of the museum that needs to be out there more.’
      yes, all right, of course, indeed, certainly, absolutely, agreed
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • be sure

    • usually in imperativeDo not fail (used to emphasize an invitation or instruction)

      with infinitive ‘be sure to drop by’
      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 George really wanted’
      • ‘Whether that is a problem of this production or whether of the opera itself I can't say for sure.’
      • ‘The one thing for sure is that he's not doing it for the sake of doing us a favour.’
      • ‘All we know for sure is that he seems to enjoy some sort of position of authority at the bar.’
      • ‘No one knows for sure the exact position in 50 years' time, as no one has a crystal ball.’
      • ‘Cheerful in a different way, for sure, but I still have plenty to be cheery about.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One thing was for sure, this pump would not be working by the time I got there.’
      • ‘It's a commitment, for sure, but one that I hope you agree was definitely worth it in the end.’
      • ‘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

    • 1usually with clauseEstablish 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We made sure we had the bear spray handy before wading into the river to fish.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I made sure that they were definitely gone before stepping out from my hiding place.’
      • ‘Your sister and I have made sure that the treaty was settled fairly and ratified on both sides.’
      • ‘The certifier makes sure the driver has mastered the previous lessons before moving on.’
      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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘The little girl supported his arm, making sure he did not fall to the ground.’
        • ‘Yet neither government has proved capable of making sure that money is well spent.’
        • ‘Thus, the government was just making sure that nothing would happen on the day before.’
        check, confirm, make certain, ensure
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  • 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 tried my hand at stream of consciousness and, sure enough, the words came out but they were devoid of substance.’
      • ‘The story was always going to be a sitter for the Sunday papers and, sure enough, all three gave it space.’
      • ‘There was nothing I could do about it but wait and, sure enough, after twenty minutes or so the problem fixed itself.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 looking for a map of Sydney, and sure enough, they claimed I was in the middle of that map too.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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.’
      • ‘I think I am reminding myself of what it feels like to feel attractive, confident, sure of myself.’
      • ‘Quite confident and sure of himself, Himanshu knows his heart and most importantly knows that it speaks the truth.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you have a high level you will be confident, happy and sure of yourself.’
  • sure thing

    • 1informal A certainty.

      • ‘The only two sure things in life are death and taxes, the old saying goes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One of life's sure things is that year on year, the Madden series of American Football games will get better.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Singapore invests in sure things in Australia because it plans its future as a creditor nation - not like Australia.’
      • ‘Right now, we're going to talk about the surprises, both positive and negative, and the sure things.’
      • ‘We're going to go over the sure things and long shots this hour.’
      • ‘We're told the two sure things in life are death and taxes.’
      • ‘They are now favourites to win but as we all know favourites are not sure things at any time.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All of this is disturbing, to be sure, but nothing new to anyone who has ever been involved in this kind of situation.’
      • ‘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’
        • ‘Nostalgia, to be sure, is a disease, a disease that not even a double dose of reality can cure.’
        • ‘This is, to be sure, not a virtue on our part, but simply an idea we are used to.’
        • ‘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

/SHo͝or//ʃʊr/