[shoo r-lee, shur-]
See more synonyms for surely on
  1. firmly; unerringly; without missing, slipping, etc.
  2. undoubtedly, assuredly, or certainly: The results are surely encouraging.
  3. (in emphatic utterances that are not necessarily sustained by fact) assuredly: Surely you are mistaken.
  4. inevitably or without fail: Slowly but surely the end approached.
  5. yes, indeed: Surely, I'll go with you!

Origin of surely

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

Usage note

2. See sure. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for surely

Contemporary Examples of surely

Historical Examples of surely

British Dictionary definitions for surely


  1. without doubt; assuredlythings could surely not have been worse
  2. without fail; inexorably (esp in the phrase slowly but surely)
  3. (sentence modifier) am I not right in thinking that?; I am sure thatsurely you don't mean it?
  4. rare in a sure manner
  5. archaic safely; securely
  6. (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

Word Origin and History for surely

14c., from sure (adj.) + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper