Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. With confidence; unhesitatingly.
  • adv. Undoubtedly; certainly: You surely can't be serious.
  • adv. Without fail: Slowly but surely spring returns.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. without fail.
  • adv. certainly, undoubtedly.
  • adv. with confidence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In a sure or certain manner; certainly; infallibly; undoubtedly; assuredly.
  • adv. Without danger; firmly; steadly; securely.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Certainly; infallibly; undoubtedly; assuredly: often used, like doubtless, in a manner implying doubt or question.
  • Firmly; stably; safely; securely.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. definitely or positively (`sure' is sometimes used informally for `surely')

Etymologies

sure +‎ -ly (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • There was a wife and a little, little baby, "Oh, _so_ little!" far up on the mountain-side; they would starve; surely, _surely_ they would starve!

    Shelled by an Unseen Foe

  • "Oh, surely, _surely_ now, some ship will sight it and come in!" proclaimed Jean, as she turned to scan the sea, her face alight with the faith inspired by the faded colors.

    Where the Sun Swings North

  • But to him the title surely belongs; and there is no competent judge, who, when made aware of the great talents and acquisitions, theoretical and practical, of Mr. Lewis in the science of music, will not cheerfully accord it to him.

    Music and Some Highly Musical People

  • Another title surely beckons at the European Indoor Championships in Paris in March.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • And finally Atalanta who I think will already be relegated. there are still three matches left. why have roma already conceded the title. players with tears, all round despondency is not going to help them. if they want to win the title surely they need to be mentally stronger

    The Guardian World News

  • This surely is the measure of ‘lifeness’ and indeed great fiction: the amount of blood the reader and character share.

    Realism in Fiction

  • If they are then, in a reverse of this situation, enabled to declare their London home as their principal home for Tax purposes, this surely is a feathering of the nest which, whilst lawful at the moment, ought to be abolished right away.

    A Corrosion Of Trust

  • "It Could Happen to You" (changed from "Cop Gives Waitress $2 Million Tip," the new title surely plays on "It Should Happen to You," George Cukor's lovely, little-known 1954 comedy) is shamelessly old-fashioned: it shouldn't float, but it does.

    Psst! Want a Good Tip?

  • After the publication of her second short story collection, Crucial Instances, Wharton received what she termed surely one of the tersest and most vigorous letters ever penned by an amateur critic.

    Old New York, New Wyoming: Two Short Story Collections

  • This surely is the ultimate absurdity of the permissive society because it leads directly and inexorably to chaos and the rule of the jungle!

    Law Reform in a Changing Society

Comments

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  • Surely you can't mean that, jmp?

    July 25, 2008

  • When I was at school, our headmaster told us never to agree with a question which used the word 'surely'

    July 25, 2008

  • I loved that film!

    December 8, 2007

  • "Don't call me Shirley!"

    January 12, 2007