I. adjective (surer; surest) Etymology: Middle English seur, sure, from Anglo-French seur, from Latin securus secure Date: 13th century 1. obsolete safe from danger or harm 2. firmly established ; steadfast <
a sure hold
3. reliable, trustworthy <
a sure friend
4. a. marked by or given to feelings of confident certainty <
I'm sure I'm right
b. characterized by a lack of wavering or hesitation <
sure brush strokes
a sure hand
5. admitting of no doubt ; indisputable <
spoke from sure knowledge
6. a. bound to happen ; inevitable <
sure disaster
b. bound, destined <
is sure to win
7. careful to remember, attend to, or find out something <
be sure to lock the door
sureness noun Synonyms: sure, certain, positive, cocksure mean having no doubt or uncertainty. sure usually stresses the subjective or intuitive feeling of assurance <
felt sure that I had forgotten something
. certain may apply to a basing of a conclusion or conviction on definite grounds or indubitable evidence <
police are certain about the cause of the fire
. positive intensifies sureness or certainty and may imply opinionated conviction or forceful expression of it <
I'm positive that's the person I saw
. cocksure implies presumptuous or careless positiveness <
you're always so cocksure about everything
. II. adverb Date: 14th century surely Usage: Most commentators consider the adverb sure to be something less than completely standard; surely is usually recommended as a substitute. Our current evidence shows, however, that sure and surely have become differentiated in use. Sure is used in much more informal contexts than surely. It is used as a simple intensive <
I can never know how much I bored her, but, be certain, she sure amused me — Norman Mailer
and, because it connotes strong affirmation, it is used when the speaker or writer expects to be agreed with <
it's a moot point whether politicians are less venal than in Twain's day. But they're sure as the devil more intrusive — Alan Abelson
he sure gets them to play — D. S. Looney
. Surely, like sure, is used as a simple intensive <
I surely don't want to leave the impression that I had an unhappy childhood — E. C. Welsh
but it occurs in more formal contexts than sure. Unlike sure it may be used neutrally—the reader or hearer may or may not agree <
it would surely be possible, within a few years, to program a computer to construct a grammar — Noam Chomsky
and it is often used when the writer is trying to persuade <
surely a book on the avant-garde cannot be so conventional — Karl Shapiro

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • sure — sure …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • sûre — sûre …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • Sure — Sure, a. [Compar. {Surer}; superl. {Surest}.] [OE. sur, OF. se[ u]r, F. s[^u]r, L. securus; se aside, without + cura care. See {Secure}, and cf. {Assure}, {Insure}, {Sicker} sure.] 1. Certainly knowing and believing; confident beyond doubt;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sure — [shoor] adj.. surer surest th [OFr .seur < L securus: see SECURE] 1. Obs. secure or safe 2. that will not fail; always effective [a sure method] 3. that can be relied upon; trustworthy [a sure friend] …   English World dictionary

  • sure — ► ADJECTIVE 1) completely confident that one is right. 2) (sure of/to do) certain to receive, get, or do. 3) undoubtedly true; completely reliable. 4) steady and confident. ► ADVERB informal ▪ certainly …   English terms dictionary

  • Sure — or SURE may refer to: * sure as probability, see certainty * Sure (brand), the brand by Unilever * Sure, a telephone company operating in the British Crown dependencies * Sure, a Chilean based film company * Stein s unbiased risk estimate (SURE) …   Wikipedia

  • sure — sure, surely 1. In all parts of the English speaking world, surely is the dominant form in the meaning ‘in a sure or certain manner’ (slowly but surely) and in the use inviting or presupposing agreement (Surely that can t be right). In BrE, sure… …   Modern English usage

  • Sure — Sûre Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sûre est le féminin de l adjectif sûr qui peut être employé pour qualifier ce qui a rapport à la sûreté. Depuis les rectifications orthographiques de …   Wikipédia en Français

  • sure — c.1300, safe, secure, later mentally certain (mid 15c.), from O.Fr. sur, seur safe, secure, from L. securus free from care, untroubled, heedless, safe (see SECURE (Cf. secure)). Pronunciation development followed that of SUGAR (Cf. sugar). As an… …   Etymology dictionary

  • sure — 1 assured, *confident, sanguine, presumptuous Analogous words: relying, trusting, depending, counting, banking (see RELY): inerrant, unerring, *infallible: *safe, secure 2 Sure, certain, positive, cocksure mean having or showing no doubt. Sure… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Sure — Sure, adv. In a sure manner; safely; certainly. Great, sure, shall be thy meed. Spenser. [1913 Webster] T is pleasant, sure, to see one s name in print. Byron. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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