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free from doubt as to the reliability, character, action, etc., of something:
to be sure of one’s data.
confident, as of something expected:
sure of success.
convinced, fully persuaded, or positive:
to be sure of a person’s guilt.
assured or certain beyond question:
a sure victory.
worthy of confidence; reliable; stable:
a sure messenger.
unfailing; never disappointing expectations:
a sure cure.
unerring; never missing, slipping, etc.:
a sure aim.
admitting of no doubt or question:
sure proof.
destined; bound inevitably; certain:
sure death.
Obsolete. secure; safe.
be sure, to take care (to be or do as specified); be certain:
Be sure to close the windows.
Informal. certainly; surely:
It sure is cold out. Sure, I’ll come.
for sure, as a certainty; surely:
It’s going to be a good day, for sure.
make sure, to be or become absolutely certain:
I’m calling to make sure that you remember to come.
sure enough, Informal. as might have been supposed; actually; certainly:
Sure enough, the picnic was rained out.
to be sure,

without doubt; surely; certainly.
She sings well, to be sure, but she can’t act.

Contemporary Examples

And sure enough, the referendum passed handily among the Turkish Cypriots.
POLL: Israeli Jews Favor A Referendum Dahlia Scheindlin May 12, 2013

sure, he broke off his holiday in Italy to take command in Downing Street almost within 48 hours of the first flare-up.
Cameron Gets Tough William Underhill August 9, 2011

They may change their minds later, and if so, I’m sure we’ll hear from them.
The Bin Ladens’ Family Struggle Jean Sasson May 2, 2011

They projected sexual charisma, to be sure, but it was a charisma that was tamed and domesticated for their youngest female fans.
What Made the Beatles So Big? Diagnosing ‘Beatlemania’ John McMillian October 30, 2013

sure enough, she was tossed from the show within a matter of weeks.
Inside the Salahi Split Diane Dimond September 15, 2011

Historical Examples

Now she felt so sure of it that it was beyond contempt of question.
Capt’n Davy’s Honeymoon Hall Caine

In you I was sure of a mind strong enough to break the fetters of habit.
Philothea Lydia Maria Child

Nobody was sure of him, and this cause augmented the difficulties of his position.
Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume II. Charles James Lever

Without reasons I was sure of, you know, so there could be no chance of any mistake.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

sure, there’s no one can ride him barrin’ the man I was talkin’ of.’
Jack Hinton Charles James Lever

(sometimes foll by of) free from hesitancy or uncertainty (with regard to a belief, conviction, etc): we are sure of the accuracy of the data, I am sure that he is lying
(foll by of) having no doubt, as of the occurrence of a future state or event: sure of success
always effective; unfailing: a sure remedy
reliable in indication or accuracy: a sure criterion
(of persons) worthy of trust or confidence: a sure friend
not open to doubt: sure proof
admitting of no vacillation or doubt: he is very sure in his beliefs
bound to be or occur; inevitable: victory is sure
(postpositive) bound inevitably (to be or do something); certain: she is sure to be there tonight
physically secure or dependable: a sure footing
(obsolete) free from exposure to harm or danger
(usually imperative or dependent imperative; takes a clause as object or an infinitive, sometimes with to replaced by and) be sure, to be careful or certain: be sure and shut the door, I told him to be sure to shut the door
for sure, without a doubt; surely
make sure

(takes a clause as object) to make certain; ensure
(foll by of) to establish or confirm power or possession (over)

(informal) sure enough, as might have been confidently expected; definitely: often used as a sentence substitute
to be sure

without doubt; certainly
it has to be acknowledged; admittedly

(sentence substitute) (informal) willingly; yes
(sentence modifier) (informal, mainly US & Canadian) without question; certainly

c.1300, “safe, secure,” later “mentally certain” (mid-15c.), from Old French sur, seur “safe, secure,” from Latin securus “free from care, untroubled, heedless, safe” (see secure (adj.)). Pronunciation development followed that of sugar. As an affirmative meaning “yes, certainly” it dates from 1803, from Middle English meanings “firmly established; having no doubt,” and phrases like to be sure (1650s), sure enough (1540s), and for sure (1580s). The use as a qualifier meaning “assuredly” goes back to early 15c. Sure-footed is from 1630s; sure thing dates from 1836. In 16c.-17c., Suresby was an appellation for a person to be depended upon.

Related Terms

shoot one’s cookies

[“Towards a Broader Basis for Logic Programming”, Bharat Jayaraman, TR CS Dept, SUNY Buffalo, 1990].

sure as shooting
sure cure
sure enough
sure of oneself
sure thing


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