Definition of sure adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    sure

     adjective
    adjective
    BrE BrE//ʃʊə(r)//
     
    , BrE//ʃɔː(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃʊr//
     
    (surer, surest)You can also use more sure and most sure, especially in sense 1. Confident
     
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  1. 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 whether I should tell you this. opposite unsure See related entries: Confident
  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 England must win this game to be sure of qualifying for the World Cup. Synonymssureconfident convinced certain positive clearThese words all describe somebody 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:‘Is that John over there?’ ‘I’m not sure.’ Are you sure about that? England must win this game to be sure of qualifying. 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 say quite sure:I’m quite sure (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 quite confident that you’ll get the job. The team feels confident of winning. 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 somebody 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] (rather 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:My memory isn’t really clear on that point.Patterns sure/​confident/​convinced/​certain/​positive/​clear about something sure/​confident/​convinced/​certain of something sure/​confident/​convinced/​certain/​positive/​clear that… 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/​clear
  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 keep to the path. Synonymscertainbound 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 only used 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.definite (rather informal) certain to happen; that is not going to change:Is it definite that he’s leaving?guaranteed certain to have a particular result:That kind of behaviour is guaranteed to make him angry.Patterns certain/​sure of something certain/​bound/​sure/​guaranteed to do something certain/​definite that… I couldn’t say for certain/​sure/​definite.
  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 nominations (= certain to succeed). Synonymscertainbound 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 only used 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.definite (rather informal) certain to happen; that is not going to change:Is it definite that he’s leaving?guaranteed certain to have a particular result:That kind of behaviour is guaranteed to make him angry.Patterns certain/​sure of something certain/​bound/​sure/​guaranteed to do something certain/​definite that… I couldn’t say for certain/​sure/​definite.
  5. 5[usually before noun] steady and confident We admired her sure touch at the keyboard.
  6. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French sur, from Latin securus ‘free from care’.Extra examples Make sure no one finds out about this. Potts was confident of taking the American title, but less sure about the world championship. To make doubly sure they would not be disturbed she turned the key in the lock. What makes you so sure she’ll come back to you? You don’t seem very sure to me. You’d better be completely sure of your facts. ‘Is that John over there?’ ‘I’m not sure.’ Ask me if you’re not sure how to do it. England must win this game to be sure of qualifying. He’s a sure bet for the presidential nomination. I told my friends that our winning was a sure thing. I’m not sure whether I should tell you this. I’m pretty sure (that) he’ll agree. I’m quite sure (that) I left my bag here. It’s a sure sign of economic recovery. It’s sure to rain. She’s sure to be picked for the team. There’s only one sure way of knowing. You’re always sure of a warm welcome here. You’re sure to get lost if you don’t keep to the path.Idioms
    be sure to do something
     
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    used to tell somebody 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.
     (informal) without doubt No one knows for sure what happened. I think he'll be back on Monday, but I can't say for sure. One thing is for sure—it's not going to be easy. (North American English) ‘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 goal and made sure of victory. 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 just go and make sure.
    (sometimes disapproving) very confident She seems very sure of herself. (informal, especially North American English) used to say ‘yes’ to a suggestion or request ‘Are you coming?’ ‘Sure thing.’ (formal) used to admit that something is true He is intelligent, to be sure, but he's also very lazy.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sure