American English

Definition of sure adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    sure

     adjective
    adjective
    NAmE//ʃʊr//
     
    , NAmE//ʃər//
     
    (surer, surest)
     
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  1. 1You can also use more sure and most sure, especially in sense 1. [not before noun] confident that you know something or that you are right synonym certain “Is that John over there?” “I'm not sure.” You don't sound very sure. sure (that)… I'm pretty sure (that) he'll agree. Are you sure you don't mind? I'm sure he's still alive. sure of something I hope you are sure of your facts. sure about something Are you sure about that? sure how, whether, etc… Ask me if you're not sure how to do it. I'm not sure whetherI should tell you this. opposite unsure
  2. 2 [not before noun] certain that you will receive something or that something will happen sure of something You're always sure of a warm welcome there. We could not be sure of financial support. sure of doing something The team must win this game to be sure of qualifying for the finals.
  3. 3 sure to do something certain to do something or to happen The exhibition is sure to be popular. It's sure to rain. You're sure to get lost if you don't stay on the path. Thesauruscertainbound sure definite guaranteedThese are all words describing something that will definitely happen or is definitely true.certain that you can rely on to happen or be true:It's certain that they will agree. They are certain to agree.bound [not before noun] certain to happen, or to do or be something. Bound is used only in the phrase bound to do/be, etc.:There are bound to be changes when the new system is introduced. You've done so much work—you're bound to pass the exam.sure certain to happen or be true; that can be trusted or relied on:She's sure to be picked for the team. It's sure to rain. Don't worry—it's a sure thing.definite certain to happen; that is not going to change:Our plans are not definite yet.guaranteed certain to have a particular result:That method is guaranteed to take much longer.Patterns certain/sure of something certain/bound/sure/guaranteed to do something certain/definite that… I couldn't say for certain/sure.
  4. 4 [usually before noun] that can be trusted or relied on It's a sure sign of economic recovery. There's only one sure way to do it. He is a sure bet for the presidential nomination (= certain to succeed). Thesauruscertainbound sure definite guaranteedThese are all words describing something that will definitely happen or is definitely true.certain that you can rely on to happen or be true:It's certain that they will agree. They are certain to agree.bound [not before noun] certain to happen, or to do or be something. Bound is used only in the phrase bound to do/be, etc.:There are bound to be changes when the new system is introduced. You've done so much work—you're bound to pass the exam.sure certain to happen or be true; that can be trusted or relied on:She's sure to be picked for the team. It's sure to rain. Don't worry—it's a sure thing.definite certain to happen; that is not going to change:Our plans are not definite yet.guaranteed certain to have a particular result:That method is guaranteed to take much longer.Patterns certain/sure of something certain/bound/sure/guaranteed to do something certain/definite that… I couldn't say for certain/sure.
  5. 5[usually before noun] steady and confident We admired her sure touch at the keyboard.
  6. Thesaurussureconfident convinced certain positive clearThese words all describe someone who knows without doubt that something is true or will happen.sure [not before noun] without any doubt that you are right, that something is true, that you will get something, or that something will happen:I'm not sure whether John is coming or not. Are you sure about that? The Orioles are sure to win this weekend. Sure is often used in negative statements and questions, because there is some doubt or anxiety over the matter. If there is no doubt, people often use know:I know (that) I left my bag here (= I have no doubt about it).confident completely sure that something will happen in the way that you want or expect:I'm confident that you'll get the job. The team is confident that they will win. Confident is a stronger and more definite word than sure and is more often used in positive statements, when you feel no anxiety.convinced [not before noun] completely sure that something is true or right, especially because the evidence seems to prove it or someone else has persuaded you to believe it:I'm convinced that she's innocent.certain [not usually before noun] sure that you are right or that something is true:Are you absolutely certain about this?sure or certain?Like sure, certain is often used in negative statements and questions. It is slightly more formal than sure;sure is more frequent, especially in spoken English.positive [not before noun] (somewhat informal) completely sure that something is true:She was positive that he'd been there. “Are you sure?” “Positive.”clear (often used in negative statements and questions) having no doubt or confusion about something:I'm still not clear what the job involves.Patterns sure/confident/convinced/certain/positive/clear about something sure/confident/convinced/certain of something sure/confident/convinced/certain/positive/clear that… not sure/certain/clear >who/what/how>, etc. to feel sure/confident/convinced/certain/positive quite/absolutely/completely/fairly/pretty sure/confident/convinced/certain/positive/clear not altogether sure/confident/convinced/certain/clearIdioms
    be sure to do something
     
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    used to tell someone to do something Be sure to give your family my regards. In spoken English and plus another verb can be used instead of to and the infinitive:Be sure and call me tomorrow.
    for sure (informal)
     
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    without doubt No one knows for sure what happened. I think he'll be back on Monday, but I can't say for sure. I know one thing for sure—it's not going to be easy. “Will you be there?” “For sure.”
      make sure (of something/that…)
       
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    1. 1 to do something in order to be certain that something else happens Make sure (that) no one finds out about this. They scored another run, making sure of a win. Our staff will do their best to make sure you enjoy your visit.
    2. 2 to check that something is true or has been done She looked around to make sure that she was alone. I think the door's locked, but I'll make sure.
    sure of yourself (sometimes disapproving)
     
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    very confident She seems very sure of herself.
    sure thing (informal)
     
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    used to say “yes” to a suggestion or request “Are you coming?” “Sure thing.”
    to be sure (formal)
     
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    used to admit that something is true He is intelligent, to be sure, but he's also very lazy.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sure