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Related to surely: Slowly but Surely


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


(ˈʃʊəlɪ; ˈʃɔː-)
1. without doubt; assuredly: things 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 that: surely you don't mean it?.
4. rare in a sure manner
5. archaic safely; securely
6. (sentence substitute) chiefly US and Canadian willingly; of course; yes


(ˈʃʊər li, ˈʃɜr-)

1. firmly; unerringly.
2. undoubtedly, assuredly, or certainly.
3. (in emphatic utterances that are not necessarily sustained by fact) assuredly: Surely you are mistaken.
4. inevitably or without fail.
5. yes, indeed.
usage: See sure.


1. 'surely'

You use surely for emphasis when you are objecting to something that has been said or done.

'I can have it ready for next week.' – 'Surely you can get it done sooner than that?'
Their lawyers claim that they have not broken any rules, but surely this is not good practice.
2. 'definitely' and 'certainly'

Don't use 'surely' simply to give strong emphasis to a statement. Use definitely.

They were definitely not happy.
The call definitely came from your phone.

In British English, you don't use 'surely' when you are agreeing with something that has been said, or confirming that something is true. Use certainly.

Ellie was certainly a student at the university but I'm not sure about her brother.
'You like him, don't you?' – 'I certainly do.'

American speakers use both surely and certainly to agree with requests and statements.

'It is still a difficult world for women.' – 'Oh, certainly.'
Surely, yes, I agree with that.

Don't use 'surely' to say emphatically that something will happen in the future. Use definitely or certainly.

The conference will definitely be postponed.
If nothing is done, there will certainly be problems.
3. 'naturally'

Don't use 'surely' to emphasize that something is what you would expect in particular circumstances. Use naturally.

His sister was crying, so naturally Sam was upset.
Naturally, some of the information will be irrelevant.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.surely - definitely or positively (`sure' is sometimes used informally for `surely'); "the results are surely encouraging"; "she certainly is a hard worker"; "it's going to be a good day for sure"; "they are coming, for certain"; "they thought he had been killed sure enough"; "he'll win sure as shooting"; "they sure smell good"; "sure he'll come"
colloquialism - a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech


1. it must be the case that, without question, assuredly If I can accept this situation, surely you can?
3. steadily, determinedly, doggedly, assuredly, unswervingly, unfalteringly He's recovering, slowly but surely.
أكيد، مُحْتَمَل جِدابِالتَأْكِيدبدون شَك أو تَرَدُّدطَبعا، أكيد، بالتأكيد
forhåbentlighelt sikkert
auîvitaîörugglegavissulega ; eîa hvaî?
một cách chắc chắn


[ˈʃʊəlɪ] ADV
1. (emphatic)
1.1. (in questions) surely there must be something we can do?algo habrá que podemos hacer, ¿no?
1.2. (expressing opinion) there must surely be a more effective way of punishing such peopletiene que haber una forma más eficaz de castigar a esa clase de gente, digo or creo yo
surely it is better to steal than to starvemejor será robar que pasar hambre, digo or creo yo
it is surely no coincidence thatdigo or creo yo que no es una coincidencia que ...
1.3. (expressing surprise) surely you are not suggesting she did it on purpose?no estarás insinuando que lo hizo a propósito ¿verdad?
surely it's obvious?pero si es obvio, ¿no?
surely the logical thing would have been to change banks?lo más lógico habría sido cambiar de banco, ¿no?
you surely don't think it was me!¡no pensarás que fui yo!
surely notno puede ser
surely to God
surely to goodness surely to God that's what everyone wantsestá claro que es eso lo que quiere todo el mundo ¿no?
surely to goodness that itself is reason enough to call the policeseguro que eso en sí mismo es motivo suficiente para llamar a la policía, ¿no?
2. (= undoubtedly) → sin duda
she was surely one of the greatest sopranos of all timesin duda fue una de las sopranos más destacadas de todos los tiempos
justice will surely prevailsin duda la justicia prevalecerá
he is an artist, just as surely as Rembrandtes pintor, tan seguro como que lo era Rembrandt
his time will surely comeno cabe duda de que le llegará su momento
3. (US) (= of course) → por supuesto, ¡cómo no! (LAm)
"will you excuse me just a second?" - "surely"-¿me permite un momento? -¡por supuesto! or (LAm) -¡cómo no!
4. (= safely, confidently) → con seguridad
he handles the issue surely but with sensitivitymaneja el asunto con seguridad y sensibilidad a la vez
slowly but surelylento pero seguro


[ˈʃʊərli] adv
(expressing surprise)
Surely you don't mean that! → Vous ne parlez pas sérieusement!
Surely you've been to London? → Tu as bien dû aller à Londres, non?
The shops are closed on Christmas Day, surely? → J'imagine que les magasins sont fermés le jour de Noël, non?
(= certainly) → sûrement
He knew he would surely die → Il savait qu'il mourrait sûrement.
slowly but surely → lentement mais sûrement


bestimmt, sicher; surely you don’t mean it?das meinen Sie doch bestimmt or sicher nicht (so)?; surely he’s come(, hasn’t he?)er ist doch bestimmt gekommen(, oder?); surely he hasn’t come(, has he)?er ist doch bestimmt or sicher nicht gekommen(, oder?); surely not!das kann doch nicht stimmen!; surely someone must know the answerirgendjemand muss doch die Antwort wissen; there must surely be something we can doirgendetwas müssen wir doch (sicher) tun können; I can’t — oh, surely you canich kann (es) nicht — aber sicher kannst du das!; but surely you can’t expect us to believe thatSie können doch wohl nicht erwarten, dass wir das glauben!; surely if a equals b, then c must …also, wenn a gleich b ist, dann muss c doch sicherlich; surely to God or goodness (inf)sicherlich
(esp US: = gladly) → gern, mit Vergnügen
(= inevitably, with certainty)zweifellos
(= undoubtedly) he is an artist, just as surely as Rembrandt waser ist ein Künstler, genauso wie Rembrandt einer war
(= confidently)mit sicherer Hand; slowly but surelylangsam aber sicher


[ˈʃʊəlɪ] adv (certainly) → certamente, sicuramente
surely we've met before? → ma non ci siamo già incontrati?
surely you don't mean that! → non parlerai sul serio!
surely not! → ma non è possibile!


(ʃuə) adjective
1. (negative unsure) having no doubt; certain. I'm sure that I gave him the book; I'm not sure where she lives / what her address is; `There's a bus at two o'clock.' `Are you quite sure?'; I thought the idea was good, but now I'm not so sure; I'll help you – you can be sure of that!
2. unlikely to fail (to do or get something). He's sure to win; You're sure of a good dinner if you stay at that hotel.
3. reliable or trustworthy. a sure way to cure hiccups; a safe, sure method; a sure aim with a rifle.
(especially American) certainly; of course. Sure I'll help you!; `Would you like to come?' `Sure!'
ˈsurely adverb
1. used in questions, exclamations etc to indicate what the speaker considers probable. Surely she's finished her work by now!; You don't believe what she said, surely?
2. without doubt, hesitation, mistake or failure. Slowly but surely we're achieving our aim.
3. (in answers) certainly; of course. `May I come with you?' `Surely!'
ˈsureness noun
ˌsure-ˈfooted adjective
not likely to slip or stumble. Goats are sure-footed animals.
as sure as
used in various phrases that mean `without fail' or `without doubt'. As sure as fate / anything / eggs are eggs, he'll be late again.
be sure to
don't fail to. Be sure to switch off the television.
be/feel sure of oneself
to be confident.
for sure
definitely or certainly. We don't know for sure that he's dead.
make sure
to act so that, or check that, something is certain or sure. Arrive early at the cinema to make sure of (getting) a seat!; I think he's coming today but I'll telephone to make sure (of that / that he is).
sure enough
in fact, as was expected. I thought she'd be angry, and sure enough she was.


بِالتَأْكِيد jistě helt sikkert sicher ασφαλώς seguramente varmasti assurément svakako sicuramente 確かに 확실하게 ongetwijfeld sikkert pewnie certamente несомненно säkert อย่างแน่นอน muhakkak một cách chắc chắn 一定
References in classic literature ?
Why should I complain, when we both have merely done our duty and will surely be the happier for it in the end?
He was sorry the idea had not come into his mind in the days before his daughter Louise had been born and thought that surely now when he had erected a pile of burning sticks in some lonely place in the woods and had offered the body of a lamb as a burnt offering, God would appear to him and give him a message.
If ever the fusion of two human beings into one has been accomplished on this sphere it was surely in their union.
If enemies have reached the portage at all, a thing by no means probable, as our scouts are abroad, they will surely be found skirting the column, where scalps abound the most.
The founder of this stately mansion--a gentleman noted for the square and ponderous courtesy of his demeanor, ought surely to have stood in his own hall, and to have offered the first welcome to so many eminent personages as here presented themselves in honor of his solemn festival.
It might be difficult -- and it was so -- to conceive how he should exist hereafter, so earthly and sensuous did he seem; but surely his existence here, admitting that it was to terminate with his last breath, had been not unkindly given; with no higher moral responsibilities than the beasts of the field, but with a larger scope of enjoyment than theirs, and with all their blessed immunity from the dreariness and duskiness of age.
I am lonely and friendless, and surely troubled in mind, but I am strong enough to win my way through worse trials than these.
To be whimsical, therefore, in pursuit of a whim, fanciful in the chase of a fancy, is surely but to maintain the spirit of the game.
Dear Ripple, do not go, for you can never reach that distant place: some harm most surely will befall; and then how shall we live, without our dearest, gentlest Spirit?
Surely you cannot fear the Lord God as you ought to do?
Surely you must abound with trimmings, and yet you are working another already?
The weeks were unusually long: Dinah must surely have had more than enough time to make up her mind.