1 adjective
1 CERTAIN YOU KNOW STH (not before noun) confident that you know something or that something is true or correct: “What time does the show start?” “I'm not sure.” | sure (that): I'm sure there's a logical explanation for all this. | Are you sure you know how to get there?
(+ of): You need to be sure of your facts before making any accusations. (+ about): “That's the man I saw in the building last night.” “Are you quite sure about that?” | not sure how/where/whether etc: I'm not sure where Michael is, to be honest. | “What time does the show start?” “I'm not sure.” | not sure if: Mr Watkins isn't sure if he'll be able to come. | pretty sure (=almost certain): I'm pretty sure Barbara still works there.
2 CERTAIN ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS (not before noun) certain about what you feel, want, like etc: “Are you sure you really want a divorce?”
3 make sure
a) to find out if something is true or to check that something has been done: “Did you lock the front door?” “ I think so, but I'd better make sure.” | make sure (that): Emma peered into the room to make sure that Ruth was asleep.
b) to do something so that you can be certain of the result: make sure (that): I made sure that the rope was firmly fastened around his waist. | make sure of sth: Ben made sure of winning by betting on all the horses..
4 CERTAIN TO BE TRUE certain to be true: one thing is (for) sure: One thing's for sure, we'll never be able to move this furniture on our own. | sure sign/indication (=a sign that something is certainly going to happen): Those black clouds are a sure sign of rain.
5 CERTAIN TO SUCCEED certain to succeed: sure way/means (=a way of doing something that will certainly achieve a particular result): Arriving at work in pyjamas is a sure way of attracting attention to yourself! | a sure bet AmE (=something that is certain to succeed) | a sure thing AmE (=something that will definitely happen, win, succeed etc)
6 be sure of to be certain to get something or be certain that something will happen: United must beat Liverpool to be sure of winning the championship. | You can be sure of one thing - there'll be a lot of laughs.
7 sure of yourself confident in your own abilities and opinions, sometimes in a way that annoys other people: Kids nowadays seem very sure of themselves.
8 be sure to do sth spoken used to tell someone to remember to do something: Be sure to ring and let us know you've got back safely.
9 sure to do sth certain to happen or to do something: He's sure to get nervous and say something stupid.
10 (as) sure as hell spoken especially AmE used to emphasize a statement: I'm sure as hell not gonna do it.
11 to be sure BrE spoken used to admit that something is true, before saying something that is the opposite: Jamie's had his problems to be sure, but he's got potential.
12 sure thing AmE spoken used to agree to something: “See you next week?” “Sure thing.”
13 have/get a sure hold/footing if you have a sure hold or footing your hands or feet are placed firmly so they cannot slip
—see also: surely
14 sure as eggs are eggs BrE old-fashioned used to say that something is definitely true
— sureness noun (U) 2 adverb
1 for sure spoken
a) certainly: No one knows for sure what really happened.
b) used to emphasize that something is true: I know one person who won't be happy with the decision, that's for sure.
c) (C) AmE used to agree with someone
2 sure enough used to say that something did actually happen in the way that you said it would: Sure enough Mike managed to get lost.
3 USED TO SAY 'YES' spoken especially AmE used to say `yes' to someone: “Can you give me a ride to work tomorrow?” “Sure.”
4 USED AS A REPLY AmE spoken used as a way of replying to someone when they thank you: “Thanks for your help Karen.” “Sure.”
5 USED TO EMPHASIZE STH AmE informal used to emphasize a statement: Mom's sure gonna be mad when she gets home.
6 USED BEFORE STATEMENT AmE spoken used at the beginning of a statement admitting that something is true, especially before adding something very different: Sure Joey's happy now, but will it last?

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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