Definition of sure in English:

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Pronunciation: /SHo͝or/


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
More example sentences
  • 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.
certain, positive, convinced, confident, definite, assured, satisfied, persuaded;
unhesitating, unwavering, unshakable
1.1 (sure of) Having a certain prospect or confident anticipation of: Ripken can be sure of a place in the Hall of Fame
More example sentences
  • You can be sure of at least three things when you go to a Rita Chiarelli concert.
  • When I started work on the movie two years ago I was aware of the theory but wasn't sure of it.
  • We were not sure of each other and also about where our relationship was heading.
1.2 [with infinitive] Certain to do something: it’s sure to rain before morning
More example sentences
  • 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.
bound, likely, destined, fated
1.3True beyond any doubt: what is sure is that learning is a complex business
unquestionable, indisputable, irrefutable, incontrovertible, undeniable, indubitable, undoubted, absolute, categorical, true, certain;
obvious, evident, plain, clear, conclusive, definite
1.4 [attributive] Able to be relied on or trusted: her neck was red—a sure sign of agitation
More example sentences
  • 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.
guaranteed, unfailing, infallible, unerring, assured, certain, inevitable
informal sure-fire
reliable, dependable, trustworthy, unfailing, infallible, certain, unambiguous, true, foolproof, established, effective
informal sure-fire
formal efficacious
1.5Confident; assured: the drawings impress by their sure sense of rhythm
More example sentences
  • It lacks the usually sure sense of design that Conran brings.
firm, steady, stable, secure, confident, steadfast, unfaltering, unwavering


informal, chiefly North American
1Certainly (used for emphasis): Texas sure was a great place to grow up
More example sentences
  • For two decades, though, his constituents have sure voted as if they wanted lower taxes.
1.1 [as an exclamation] Used to show assent: “Are you serious?” “Sure.”
More example sentences
  • 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.



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
More example sentences
  • 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, see that you, mind that you, take care to, be certain to

for sure

informal Without doubt: I can’t say for sure what George really wanted
More example sentences
  • 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.
definitely, surely, certainly, without doubt, without question, undoubtedly, indubitably, absolutely, undeniably, unmistakably

make sure

[usually with clause] Establish that something is definitely so; confirm: go and make sure she’s all right
More example sentences
  • 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.
3.1Ensure that something is done or happens: he made sure that his sons were well educated
More example sentences
  • 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.

sure enough

informal Used to introduce a statement that confirms something previously predicted: when X-rays were taken, sure enough, there was the needle
More example sentences
  • 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.

sure of oneself

Very confident of one’s own abilities or views: he’s very sure of himself
More example sentences
  • 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.

sure thing

informal A certainty.
Example sentences
  • 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.
[as exclamation] chiefly North American 6.1 Certainly; of course: “Can I watch?” “Sure thing.”

to be sure

Used 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
7.1Used for emphasis: what an extraordinary woman she was, to be sure
More example sentences
  • 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.



Pronunciation: /ˈSHo͝ornəs/
Example sentences
  • That may sound dull, but he composed with a lyrical sureness of balance that makes his art as pure and purifying as he hoped.
  • It is meticulously incised with an image startling in its sureness of line, composition and structure, and magnificent in its subtlety.
  • Technically perfect, she stuck her landings with sureness and confidence.


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

  • This is from Old French sur, from Latin securus ‘free from care’. The same Latin word gives us security (Late Middle English), the legal surety (Middle English), and insecure (mid 17th century) ‘not free from care’, as well as assure (Late Middle English). See curate

Words that rhyme with sure

abjure, adjure, allure, amour, assure, Bahawalpur, boor, Borobudur, Cavour, coiffure, conjure, couture, cure, dastur, de nos jours, doublure, dour, embouchure, endure, ensure, enure, gravure, immature, immure, impure, inure, Jaipur, Koh-i-noor, Kultur, liqueur, lure, manure, moor, Moore, Muir, mure, Nagpur, Namur, obscure, parkour, photogravure, plat du jour, Pompadour, procure, pure, rotogravure, Ruhr, Saussure, secure, simon-pure, spoor, Stour, tour, Tours, velour, Yom Kippur, you're

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sure

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