adjective, sur·er, sur·est.
- without doubt; surely; certainly.
- admittedly: She sings well, to be sure, but she can't act.
Origin of sure
British Dictionary definitions for to be sure
- (takes a clause as object) to make certain; ensure
- (foll by of) to establish or confirm power or possession (over)
- without doubt; certainly
- it has to be acknowledged; admittedly
Word Origin for sure
Word Origin and History for to be sure
c.1300, "safe, secure," later "mentally certain" (mid-15c.), from Old French sur, seur "safe, secure," from Latin securus "free from care, untroubled, heedless, safe" (see secure (adj.)). Pronunciation development followed that of sugar. As an affirmative meaning "yes, certainly" it dates from 1803, from Middle English meanings "firmly established; having no doubt," and phrases like to be sure (1650s), sure enough (1540s), and for sure (1580s). The use as a qualifier meaning "assuredly" goes back to early 15c. Sure-footed is from 1630s; sure thing dates from 1836. In 16c.-17c., Suresby was an appellation for a person to be depended upon.
Idioms and Phrases with to be sure (1 of 2)
to be sure
Undoubtedly, certainly, of course, as in The coat is expensive, to be sure, but it's bound to last longer than a cheap one. This idiom was first recorded in 1657.
Idioms and Phrases with to be sure (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with sure
- sure as shooting
- sure cure
- sure enough
- sure of oneself
- sure thing
- for certain (sure)
- make sure
- slow but sure
- to be sure