Definition of sure in English:

sure

adjective

  • 1[predicative 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 was absolutely sure of myself, sure I was going to make him proud of me and I did.’
    • ‘Nobody was too sure what to say, so nobody said anything.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We all feel very confident and more sure that we are right with every day that passes.’
    • ‘He was sure of that, as sure as one is of being alive or of eating a piece of bread.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He sounded absolutely sure of that fact, and I wanted to be.’
    • ‘He told me, as if he was absolutely sure of this fact.’
    • ‘She came home, sure of a good number of those questions, not as sure about several others.’
    • ‘I wasn't exactly sure how to respond to her comment.’
    • ‘I'm not even sure how to ask that question, let alone answer it.’
    • ‘Nobody is entirely sure when exactly sheep turned up, but nobody's complaining.’
    • ‘I'm not really sure how to get around the problem, but I shall.’
    • ‘I'm not sure of his objections but I'm sure, if we try, we can reach agreement to our mutual satisfaction.’
    • ‘Ryan 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 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
    1. 1.1Having a certain prospect or confident anticipation of.
      ‘Ripken can be sure of a place in the Hall of Fame’
      • ‘You can be sure of at least three things when you go to a Rita Chiarelli concert.’
      • ‘My suitcase contains many things but one thing you can be sure of is that I've probably not got enough pants.’
      • ‘I'm not sure of her name, although I could probably ask my grandmother what it was.’
      • ‘I am not entirely sure of the absolute usefulness of such a thing, but I can't resist a gadget.’
      • ‘We were not sure of each other and also about where our relationship was heading.’
      • ‘There will be nothing easy about it and Westmeath will be no pushover, you can be sure of that.’
      • ‘He had scouted all the colleges and clubs of Ireland but couldn't find a man he could be sure of.’
      • ‘When I started work on the movie two years ago I was aware of the theory but wasn't sure of it.’
      • ‘Even though I know the thing will be ready on time I don't at the moment feel very sure of it.’
      • ‘Their main concern is that they cannot be sure of getting their bets on.’
      • ‘Can they be absolutely sure of the efficacy of their nutritional theories?’
      • ‘What I am sure of is that none of you read all of any one of those series of books.’
      • ‘It means that the user of this database can be sure of the accuracy of the data.’
      • ‘I can be sure of this because like most people I have experience of both being bullied and being a bully.’
      • ‘If people are uncertain as to who they are uniting against, they seem even less sure of what they are standing up for.’
      • ‘I can see the difference in my personality and I am not sure of the pros and cons yet.’
      • ‘It could be weeks before relatives are sure of the fate of those currently missing’
      • ‘We are not sure of the contents of these tanks, or who owns the land they are on.’
      • ‘It is only by having prescribed limits and a proper testing regime that we can be sure of proving guilt or innocence.’
      • ‘I'm still not sure of what relevance this information is to the election campaign anyway.’
    2. 1.2[with infinitive]Certain to do something.
      ‘it's sure to rain before morning’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This very popular group are sure to receive a very warm welcome in the Western Hotel.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cameras are expensive, but ask the avid photographer and you are sure to receive a nonchalant shrug.’
    3. 1.3True beyond any doubt.
      ‘what is sure is that learning is a complex business’
    4. 1.4[attributive]Able to be relied on or trusted.
      ‘her neck was red—a sure sign of agitation’
      • ‘If you see yourself denouncing jealousy you see in others, it's a sure sign that you yourself are still plagued by it.’
      • ‘For her, the one-legged cow was a sure sign of the upcoming erosion of moral ecology.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The one sure sign of true love is when the man gives the woman the last bite of food.’
      • ‘In some towns old buildings have been demolished and replaced with monstrous modern carbuncles, a sure sign of shelling.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My brother's Jeep was in the driveway, a sure sign for destruction.’
      • ‘Besides those two, the club does have a few sure bets for success.’
      • ‘I could see Gareth's head turning crimson, a sure sign of confusion and/or stress.’
      • ‘I know it's a sure sign of getting older, but I just do not get Yu-Gi-Oh!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The spoiler has morphed with lightning speed, a sure sign of this publishing event's place in the culture.’
      • ‘It is a sure sign of mirth when the beards of the guests shake with laughter.’
      • ‘There are even phantom sightings, a sure sign that panic is on the rise.’
      • ‘I delight in such juicy characters and put Bath's book down wanting more of them - a sure sign of a great read.’
    5. 1.5Confident; assured.
      ‘the drawings impress by their sure sense of rhythm’
      • ‘It lacks the usually sure sense of design that Conran brings.’

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.’
    1. 1.1[as an 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’

Phrases

  • be sure

    • [usually in imperative]Do 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
      View synonyms
  • for sure

    • informal Without doubt.

      ‘I can't say for sure what George really wanted’
      • ‘It's a commitment, for sure, but one that I hope you agree was definitely worth it in the end.’
      • ‘No one knows for sure the exact position in 50 years' time, as no one has a crystal ball.’
      • ‘All we know for sure is that he seems to enjoy some sort of position of authority at the bar.’
      • ‘It may not do anything for my friend's mood, but it will make me feel a whole lot better, that's for sure.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cheerful in a different way, for sure, but I still have plenty to be cheery about.’
      • ‘The one thing for sure is that he's not doing it for the sake of doing us a favour.’
      • ‘A blog satisfies this for sure and is the best solution for me to write nearly every day.’
      • ‘Whether that is a problem of this production or whether of the opera itself I can't say for sure.’
      definitely, surely, certainly, without doubt, without question, beyond any doubt, undoubtedly, indubitably, positively, absolutely, undeniably, unmistakably
      View synonyms
  • make sure

    • 1[usually with clause]Establish that something is definitely so; confirm.

      ‘go and make sure she's all right’
      • ‘Kirsty spends most of her waking hours doing the housework and making sure her mother has everything she needs.’
      • ‘Removing the loads, he checked them and made sure the barrels were clear.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Your sister and I have made sure that the treaty was settled fairly and ratified on both sides.’
      • ‘We carried out a check on all other bridges in the area and made sure they were secure.’
      • ‘We made sure we had the bear spray handy before wading into the river to fish.’
      check, confirm, make certain, ensure
      assure, verify, corroborate, validate, substantiate, guarantee
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Ensure that something is done or happens.
        ‘he made sure that his sons were well educated’
        • ‘Thus, the government was just making sure that nothing would happen on the day before.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘So you can buy a guarantee to make sure the annuity pays out for at least five or ten years, even if you die.’
        • ‘Yet neither government has proved capable of making sure that money is well spent.’
        check, confirm, make certain, ensure
        assure, verify, corroborate, validate, substantiate, guarantee
        View synonyms
  • 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 waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.’
      • ‘There was nothing I could do about it but wait and, sure enough, after twenty minutes or so the problem fixed itself.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Looking in the bottom of my glass, sure enough, I could see about a centimetre of sediment!’
      • ‘I tried looking for a map of Sydney, and sure enough, they claimed I was in the middle of that map too.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The story was always going to be a sitter for the Sunday papers and, sure enough, all three gave it space.’
  • 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • sure thing

    • 1informal A certainty.

      • ‘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 going to go over the sure things and long shots this hour.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are now favourites to win but as we all know favourites are not sure things at any time.’
      • ‘The only two sure things in life are death and taxes, the old saying goes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One of life's sure things is that year on year, the Madden series of American Football games will get better.’
      • ‘The other two events were by no means sure things.’
      • ‘We're told the two sure things in life are death and taxes.’
      inevitability, necessity, foregone conclusion, predictable result, matter of course, racing certainty
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1North American [as exclamation]Certainly; of course.
        ‘“Can I watch?” “Sure thing.”’
        yes, all right, of course, indeed, certainly, absolutely, agreed
        ok, yeah, yep, uh-huh, you bet, i'll say, sure thing
        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.’
      • ‘All of this is disturbing, to be sure, but nothing new to anyone who has ever been involved in this kind of situation.’
      • ‘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’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Nostalgia, to be sure, is a disease, a disease that not even a double dose of reality can cure.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

sure

/SHo͝or/