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[kok-shoo r, -shur] /ˈkɒkˈʃʊər, -ˈʃɜr/
perfectly sure or certain; completely confident in one's own mind:
She was cocksure that she was able to do the job better than anyone else.
too certain; overconfident:
He was so cocksure he would win the election that he didn't even bother to campaign.
Obsolete. perfectly secure or safe.
Origin of cocksure
First recorded in 1510-20; cock1 + sure
Related forms
cocksurely, adverb
cocksureness, noun
1. cocky, arrogant, conceited. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cocksure
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I liked to hear her knock my big men in her cocksure superior way.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • In his operations he was a cocksure individual, Mr. Craig was!

  • And he also will learn not to be cocksure and jump at conclusions.

    Pluck on the Long Trail

    Edwin L. Sabin
  • Gladstone was remarking but the other day, ‘Harding was always so cocksure.’

    Robert Orange John Oliver Hobbes
  • I was so taken aback,” he explained; “he was so ignorant, so cocksure, that he made me mad.

    The White Mice Richard Harding Davis
  • Of a cocksure, ambitious boy just breaking out of leading strings?

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
British Dictionary definitions for cocksure


/ˌkɒkˈʃʊə; -ˈʃɔː/
overconfident; arrogant
Derived Forms
cocksurely, adverb
cocksureness, noun
Word Origin
C16: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cocksure

1520s, "certain," from cock (n.1) + sure (adj.). Probably "as assured as a cock." "The word was originally perfectly dignified, and habitually used in the most solemn connexions" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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