[ shoor-lee, shur- ]
/ ˈʃʊər li, ˈʃɜr- /
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firmly; unerringly; without missing, slipping, etc.
undoubtedly, assuredly, or certainly: The results are surely encouraging.
(in emphatic utterances that are not necessarily sustained by fact) assuredly: Surely you are mistaken.
inevitably or without fail: Slowly but surely the end approached.
yes, indeed: Surely, I'll go with you!



Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of surely

First recorded in 1300–50, surely is from the Middle English word surliche.See sure, -ly

words often confused with surely

2. See sure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for surely

British Dictionary definitions for surely

/ (ˈʃʊəlɪ, ˈʃɔː-) /


without doubt; assuredlythings could surely not have been worse
without fail; inexorably (esp in the phrase slowly but surely)
(sentence modifier) am I not right in thinking that?; I am sure thatsurely you don't mean it?
rare in a sure manner
archaic safely; securely
(sentence substitute) mainly US and Canadian willingly; of course; yes
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