Definition of surely adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    surely

     adverb
    adverb
    NAmE//ˈʃʊrli//
     
    , NAmE//ˈʃərli//
     
     
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  1. 1used to show that you are almost certain of what you are saying and want other people to agree with you Surely we should do something about it? It's surely only a matter of time before he is found, isn't it?
  2. 2used with a negative to show that something surprises you and you do not want to believe it Surely you don't think I was responsible for this? “They're getting married.” “Surely not! They won't go, surely?
  3. 3(formal) without doubt; certainly He knew that if help did not arrive soon, they would surely die.
  4. 4 (old-fashioned) (informal) used to say “yes” to someone or to agree to something
  5. Idioms
    slowly but surely
     
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    making slow but definite progress We'll get there slowly but surely.
Which Word?surely / certainly You can use surely to show that you are almost certain about what you are saying and you want other people to agree with you. It usually comes at the beginning of the sentence:Surely this can’t be right?Surely in negative sentences shows that something surprises you and you do not want to believe it:Surely you’re not thinking of going, are you? Certainly is more formal and usually means “without doubt” or “definitely,” and is used to show that you strongly believe something or to emphasize that something is really true:I’ll certainly remember this trip!In informal English, this would be:I’ll sure remember this trip!Compare:She's certainly too busy to see you this week (= there is no doubt about it)andSurely she's too busy to see you this week (= that is my opinion. Don’t you agree?). In formal language only, surely can be used to mean “without doubt”:This will surely end in disaster.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: surely

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