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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Sure, Suir(e, Seur(e, S(c)hur(e, adj. (adv.). Also: sur, swr(e, soor(e, suer, suare, swir(e, suyr(e, suyer, sewr, seuer, -ir, sewer, -eir, sour(e, sowr, s(c)hour, shower, shoor, s(c)hore, schoir, sheure. [ME. and e.m.E. sure (a1330), sur (1340-70), seur (Chaucer), seure (c1412), sewre (Lydgate), sewr (c1450), swyr (1470), suer (1552-3), sewer (1556), shure (Shakespeare), OF seur, sur (12th c. and 14th c. in Larousse). Cf. Sover (and Siker).] Sure. = Siker adj. in various senses.

I. adj. 1. Safe from attack, etc. = Siker adj. 1. Also const. fra or of (a person or thing).(1) c1450-2 Howlat 22 (A).
Thus sat I in solace, sekerly and sure [: bure]
1456 Hay I 179/10.
He wald geve lytill traist in that sauf condyt … gif he suld nocht be sure in his againcummyng
a1500 Colk. Sow ii 197.
And the danger passit, thow art als sure As evir thow was
a1500 Colk. Sow ii 209.
Quho that surest dois keip him sonest dois slyd
(b) 1513 Doug. vii xi 114.
Sum … for defens to keip thar hedis suyr [: buyr], A ȝallow hat woir
1562-3 Winȝet II 22/28.
It is maid manifest anewch that thai, quha violatit thair fayth, micht nocht be suir
1571 J. Maitland in Sat. P. xxvii 24.
And anker sikker quhair thow may be suire
a1585 Maitland in Maitl. Q. 26/14.
We ar sa rewlit ritche and puire That we wait not quhair to be suire, The bordour as the borrowmuire
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 453 (W).
Quod Currage, ‘cowartis takis na cuire To sit with schame, sa they be suire’
(c) 1456 Hay II 28/23.
For and the contrary of thir gude poyntis war approprit to the ordre [sc. of knighthood] than all gude governaunce wald faile, and na man wald be seur
1456 Hay II 164/28.
Thou sall never be seker na seure a day in thy realme
(2) 1456 Hay I 268/3.
Thus aw the lord to … se … that the parties be soure of all otheris evill-willaris that takis part in that cas
1567 Sat. P. iv 151.
Lat men be war, and keip thame suire Fra wemenis vennome
(3) ?1438 Alex. ii 2098.
That euenture is on great manere, I set to bair and is nocht sure
1559–60 Soc. Ant. XI 524.
And suppois he thocht it maist sure for the tyme to hyd the samin [chain] in the said place That inferris na surenes
1585 James VI Ess. 37.
The fairest walking on the sea coast bene, And suirest swimming where the braes are grene
1594 Facs. Nat. MSS III lxxv.
For the said Jhons suir return and saiff bakcumming

b. Of a procedure or action: Conducive to the safety or safekeeping of something. 1456 Hay II 94/23.
To bynd trewis and mak seure passagis to merchandis and travaillouris
1498 Acta Conc. II 292.
That the sade Jonet sal haf sikkir and soure passage

2. a. Of a house, castle or other place of refuge: That offers protection from attack, etc. Also fig. b. Of a hiding-place: That affords security from intrusion.a. 1513 Doug. iv ii 75.
Nothir fortres nor turettis suyr of weir [L. bello tuta] Now graith tha mair
1554 Misc. Bann. C. III 69.
Throw laik … of ane suir hows or mansioun inexpugnable
1570 Reg. Morton I 51.
I … pray ȝow … to caus … transport the same [geir] … and place it in the garderobe quhair it wes or ony wthir swir house
1573 Sempill in Sat. P. xxxix 165.
Sa Grange beleuit the madin Castell suir
(b) 1513 Doug. i iv 16.
In a braid sound sovir from all wyndis blawis Flowis the schore [Sm. schoir] deip [L. aequora tuta silent] euer stabil but ony wawis
fig. 1562-3 Winȝet II 17/15.
I hid me self in the heuinning place of religioun, to all man at all tymes maist suir
a1595 Cullen Chron. Aberd. 68.
That kyngdome [sc. of Heaven] … Parpetull is and swir, And ewir moir doitht last
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxxv 59.
Thow art my father nocht the les My bukler, and my sur refuge
b. 1559–60 Soc. Ant. XI 522.
Ane place … mair sure and mair secreit to haif kepit sik thingis nor ony vther pairt of our … duelling place

3. Firmly fixed; strong; strongly built; not liable to break or give way; undamaged; intact; sound; reliable. Also in fig. context. Also hale and sure. c1475 Wall. xi 1060.
A courch … apon his handys thai laid, And wndyr syn with seuir cordys thai braid
1535 Stewart 41389.
Than with the speir That wes of suir trie He hit the king richt in at the e
a1568 Bann. MS 15b/6.
As a seuir schip savis thame that be thairin
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Eclogues iii 94.
Fallax est ripa (it is not sure)
1569–70 6th Rep. Hist. MSS App. 650/1.
To repair the Corfhous and mak it swir
1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. ii 74.
Then favour beg'd, pitty moued hir consent Rendir the fortresse, and his suirest scheild
1644 Shetland Witch Trial in Hibbert Shetland Islands 595.
He … stepping upon a stone which was ever a sure step befoir, ye … maid the said stone to lows and fall down with him
(b) 1687 Sc. Ant. V 41.
[Lease of a whisky still] The forsaid George is obleiged to leave the yeard of Ardchattane sufficient shower with keall [= kiln] and herses
fig. 1588 King Cat. 50.
He hes decernit that this Kirk suld be foundit upon ane suir rock
1638 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 133.
See that we build on ane suir foundation
(2) 1626 Kilravock Charters in Orig. Par. II ii 594-5.
[A receipt for his] haill vryttis haill and suir as he delyverit thame to him
1672 Corshill Baron Ct. 104.
The defender confest … that he held him [sc. a horse] hail and seur, and yit wes crooked with the spevene

b. Of manufactured goods or workmanship: Of dependable quality, reliable, sound. 1509 Soc. Ant. LXXXIX 454.
Howbeit that thare stuf and werkmanschip is als sever and sufficient as is maid in ony uther landis

4. a. Of the safe-keeping or custody of a person or thing: Safe, secure, without risk. b. Of (the means of) custody, captivity or (a) prison: Secure, proof against escape.For further examples see Firmance n. 1 b and Keping vbl. n. 1 (20).a. 1492 Myll Spect. 284/16.
How beit all his sure keping scho maid sic wayes that Jubiter the king of Crete come to hir
1544 Aberd. B. Rec. I 199.
The consell ordanis thair chartour keyst with the euidentis contenit thairin to be put in suir fermans for keping in secreit manir
1552 Dundee B. Ct. II 191a (11 Oct.).
Ane tenement of land analeit be hir to the said Robert and gevin to the said Jhone in seure keiping
1571 Sat. P. xxv 89.
For all thair grit munitione, I am in suire tuitione
1579 Soc. Ant. XVI 200.
[Margaret Stewart shall consign the same [sum]] in the handis and swir keeping of the dene of gild
1583 Inverness Rec. I 294.
To depone and consigne the samyn in suir and ferme keiping in the handis of the provest
1617 Aberd. B. Rec. II 351.
And the principall mortificatioun to be put vpe in the townis charter kist in sure custodie
(b) 1527 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 90.
Jhone Freir and Jenot, his spous, sal deliver thair evidens of kyll and berne … in handis and sour keiping of schir Niniane Brydin
b. (1) 1566 Anderson Collect. Mary I 44.
To apprehend, and put in suir keiping, the personis namit
1578 Reg. Privy C. III 60.
And caus him be kepit in suir firmance, that he eschaip not
1610 Reg. Privy C. IX 75.
[To hold him in] suir firmance and captivitie [till he may be entered before the Council]
(b) 1674 Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI 126.
To receave … and keipe him in shure custodie till furder order
(2) 1597 Acts IV 141/1.
That … thair be sufficient and sure iailles and ward housis begged

5. Of a person: That may be depended upon for fidelity or loyalty; dependable, faithful, trusty. Also const. to (a person, etc.).(1) 1456 Hay I 244/11.
Bot quhethir that men be traist or seure, that is in were
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 284.
I had a lufsummar leid, my lust for to slokyn, That couth be secrete and sure, and ay saif my honour
1570 Sat. P. xx 184.
Than God … Will be ȝour sure warrand
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 759 (L).
Sum tyme thou saw gif he was suir, Thou vsit his counsall anes
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. 4b.
Gold nor sylwer is nocht so wordie As ane swir trest freinde
c1590 Fowler II 78/2.
Seinge the coloneis ar not of great cost nor charges, they ar mekill mair suirer [Ital. più fedeli] and les hurtfull
c1590 J. Stewart 203 § 14.
Vith humyll seruice suir at thy command
1596 Dalr. II 453/22.
That the suirer gydes she mycht haue and the faithfuller
1600-1610 Melvill 371.
God's … trew servants sould be your sure freinds
(b) 1671 Rec. of Old Tolbooth in Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI 110.
The shyreff … to transport hir … with a suare guard
(2) a1500 K. Hart 605.
And Wantownnes, quha wes to me more sure
a1585 Maitl. Q. 281/36.
The nobles … Quha spoyled ar of sick ane speciall That lyk a lanterne schynit to thame suir
1586 A. Hay Nobility 50.
Mr. Grey, sure to England
1692 Cromartie Corr. I 87.
Any … that wer ill toolls in former goverments, and not sur to this bot to mischeiv it

b. Applied to agents: That can be relied upon to perform the action implied by the noun. 1598 James VI Basil. Doron App. 307.
God is euer a seuer auenger of all sic periuries

c. Dependable in respect of courage or resolution; determined, resolute. Also transf., of battle or pursuit. c1450-2 Howlat 569 (A).
Tharfor the lyoun he bure, with loving & lois, Of siluer semely & sure, In a feild of asure
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 340.
Thai ordanit that thre To the schore chiftane, chargit fra the kyng
1494 Loutfut MS 17b.
And signifes he that bure him first wes a man hardy and sure & nocht prudent
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 813 (L).
Gif thou be suir [Wr. sure]
transf. c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 276.
All Hispanie he wan be battell sour
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iv 620.
Bot to haif sene … The sowr persute and syne the resistance … Ȝe wald haif traist it had bene ringand weir

d. Sure-hairted. 1640 Aberd. Council Lett. II 181.
To take notice of all who does not the duty of good Christians and sure hairted patriots

6. a. Of an agreement, contract, guarantee, etc. or of the form in which it is drawn up or put into practice: Guaranteeing security of outcome, dependable, trustworthy, reliable. Also transf. b. Of a state achieved, freq. the outcome of an agreement, etc.: Firm, secure, that can be relied upon to continue.There is some overlap between the senses.a. (1) 1456 Hay I 244/10.
Be way of lawe all sauf conduct suld be traist and seure
1513 Doug. xii iv 134.
This fynal suyr [Ruddim. sure] confideratioun Athir pryncis has confermyt and sworn
1536–7 Bk. Carlaverock II 23.
Ȝour lettres of salfe conduct and sure pasport to the said abbot to pas throuch ȝour realme with … money … lettres [etc.]
1562 Carte Northberwic 84.
Baytht the saidis parteis byndis and oblissis thame for to mak ane suir and sufficiant contract for fulfilling of all promesis and commonnyngis … tueching the said purpois [sc. of marriage]
1563–4 St. A. Kirk S. 212.
Oneto sic tym as suyr acces and regres be provydit to the said Robert
1565 Lochwinnoch Par. 132.
And giff this contract be not sour in the selff, aither of the saidis parteis bindis and obleissis thame … to renew the samin in the sickerest maner can be devysit be men of law
1572 Sat. P. xxxiv 20.
The suirest bandis, the sonest brokin
1669 Aberd. Council Lett. IV 388.
Concurring with the brugh of Forfar in passeing of shore sealls to ther gifts granted by the King's majestie for keeping of publict mercats
(2) 1529 Aberd. B. Rec. I 122.
The haill townn … ordinit thair band to be maid to hym [sc. the schoolmaster] thairone in the maist sour wise
1546 Misc. Spald. C. II 275.
Ane contract of mariage maid in the maist swir and ampill forme
1566 Montgomery Mem. 202.
Securitie to be prowydit … in the seurest maner the said laird … can dewys
1594 Warrender P. (SHS) II 238.
To have that maist auntient league … confirmed in maist suire and stratest forme in all poyntis
1602 Dundee Shipping P. 78.
That he wald send ower with the first that comis to dellaywer the seil [sc. of Dundee] that we hawe it in the sowrist forme
transf. 1490 Fam. Rose 153.
To mak the said Huchone schur security of the sommys and the awail of his sonnys mareage
b. c1520-c1535 Nisbet I 15.
To mak thair vocatiounn suir [L. certam; P. certeyn] be gud werkis
1549 Compl. 87/6.
Bot aye quhen ȝe beleifit til hef hed maist sure pace betuix ȝou and them than thai lay at the vatch lyik the ald subtil doggis
a1568 Bann. MS 89a/2.
Suppois I war in court most he Tresting my stait wer evir sure
1569 Grey Friars 121.
For mair suir observing and keiping of the premisses, baith the saidis pairteis ar contentt
1571–2 Reg. Great S. 528/2.
For mair suir payment of the same having assignit to him the teindis
a1585 Maitl. Q. 203/85.
For all thingis feidis that we doe think most suir
1583 Misc. Spald. C. IV 230.
As thair hes stand ald kyndnes, suir frendschip, and allia betuix [etc.]
1590 Warrender P. (SHS) II 137.
We all wilbe enforced … to … joyne our selfes together in a … seur contreleague
c1615 Chron. Kings 74.
He also gaiff his dochter in mareage to the Dolpheine … to mak the allyance mair swirar

c. Of an investment: Safe, not risky or speculative. 1609 Bamff Chart. 160.
[He and his cautioners undertake] to wair and bestow upoun suir lands and annuelrents … the sowme of ten thowsand merks

7. Assured, certain, of a benefit, also of an affliction, or of doing (to do) something.(1) 1513 Doug. i vi 79.
Of the gret luf of his systir suyr
a1538 Abell 97 (bis) a.
Has he had bene seweir of wictory and his takin
?1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 240.
I hawe nocht to awaitt on service quhilk gyf I mycht do, I wer sewr off reward
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4725.
Off the thrid kow he wylbe sure, Quhen he hes all than vnder his cure
1560 Rolland Seven S. 372.
Sayand to him that his grace suld be sure Of thair laubours greit diligence and cure
1558-66 Knox II 356.
He and his, as suyre of victorye, martched fordwarte
1566 Q. Mary in Inv. Q. Mary xxxii n.
Wat euer bis sayed bi sur off my gud mynd
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 430/38.
The leges can na gryttar skayth sustein For na man salbe suir of land nor geir
1646 Strathendrick 131.
Support thame [sc. the poor] to your power, and be suir of a mailling fra God
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 481.
You are sure of … a free welcom
(2) 1556 Lauder Off. Kings 510.
To ȝow, kyngis, I haue maid knawin … of quhat plagis ȝe sall be sure, Geue ȝe chuse iniust officiaris
1597–8 Misc. Spald. C. I 178.
Scho said to Alexander Walcar his wyff, that scho suld be suire of ane ewill turne
1597–8 Misc. Spald. C. I 178.
He … threatnit to strik hir, and scho ansyrit, sum of tham suld be suire of it
(3) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 4485.
Quhat vails all thir vaine honour[i]s Nocht being sure to leife twa houris
1542 Acts II 416/1.
The saidis proclamatonis maid thame nocht suir tocum and returne suirlie
a1585 Maitl. Q. 139/68.
So for thy factis thow be suire to find

b. To mak (one) sure (of the benefit, etc.). 1490 Irland Mir. I 27/35.
To mak ws sure and sekyre of oure heretage and glore euirlestand of paradice
1562 Montgomery Mem. 191.
Being myndit neuer to defraude the saidis Thomas of his kyndlie inheritance, bot rather to mak him swir thairof
1570 Innes Sketches 512.
I sall … mak yow and youris sour of rowmis that sall mak yow mair profeit nor the geir that ye haue tint
1572–3 Reg. Privy C. II 177.
Thay offerit to … discharge the half of thair … wageis, being maid sure of the uther half … to be payit at sum competent day
1578 Acts III 107/1.
[He] salbe lawfullie providit and maid sure of ane ȝeirlie pensioun of tua thowsand merkis
transf. a1570-86 Arbuthnot in Maitl. F. 59/145.
Off hewinlie joy our houp it [sc. conscience] makkis sure

8. Fully assured or convinced of something as a present fact. Variously const.(1) 1547 Cal. Sc. P. I 5.
Atour ye salbe suer of ane thing [etc.]
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2392.
Prelatis … Sall mak answeir thareof, be sure, On the gret day of jugement
1627 Rep. Parishes 19.
But this we ar suir off this rentall dutie dois far exceid the teind
(2) a1568 Steel in Bann. MS 237a/7.
My lang absens caussit this to indyte Makand ȝow sur I am nocht in the wyte
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1420.
Thow suld be wonder sure That thow to na man do iniure
1567 G. Ball. 149.
I lufe thé weill I mak thé sure
c1568 Lauder Minor P. ii 70.
Ȝit Papistis bearis ilke ane to vther More liberall luife, I am moste sure … Nor dois sum minister to his brother
1571 Sat. P. xxvi 163.
Thir letters … Is only caus, I am baith sure and certane, Quhilk [etc.]
c1580 Q. Mary in 12th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. viii 9.
I am sur yow schal hir mor
1666 Laing MSS 349.
But sur I am it was a grit temper and loyaltie in Lorn
(b) 1515 Douglas Corr. 70.
And be ȝe suyre the Queyne and we all wald be glad to follow the Kyngis mind thare
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Rom. xiii 14 marg.
a1578 Pitsc. I 92/33.
The king … makand him suire with all promeissis that he sould be saiflie pardonit
1590 Douglas Corr. 34.
And in a'thing ame I suire he ouir passis thaime all, that [etc.]
1600-1610 Melvill 11.
I am suir they ar mair addettit nor anie paroche I knaw
16.. Hist. Kennedy 33.
Thay wer swir that he wald do thame na wrang!
(c) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 1695 (B).
Be seure [Ch. suir] that mair belangis to the plewch
1570 Cal. Sc. P. III 89.
1683 Laing MSS 430.
I am seur you would have thoght I was not used lyk a gentleman
1687 Dunlop P. III 38.
Never getin a lin from you, wich I am seur you know nothing could be mor acceptbl
(d) c1630 Laing MSS 186.
1662 Cromartie Corr. I 4.
Shure I am some worthie person is much abused by him
(e) 1667 Laing MSS 363.
I am shour you never will misunderstand the fridum I yous with you in it
1695 Douglas Corr. 286.
I'm shoor my lord will … tak your adviys
(3) 1571 Sempill in Sat. P. xxviii 32.
Bot quhidder it was in feild keipand the ky, Or fischand Lochis Lin, I am not sure
a1585 Maitland in Maitl. Q. 33/88.
Ȝe ar not swir I trow Quha will cum releif ȝow
(4) 1596 Dalr. II 260/26.
Neuer was he suir in materis of doubte, nouther evir was he doubtesum in materis that war sure

b. Of something enjoyed by, or promised to, a person: Assured (to him). Also fig. 1658 Oliphants 247.
Hir joyntor … sall be frie saiff and suir to hir during hir lyftyme
fig. 1567 G. Ball. 209.
Sen we ar all to sin maid sure Throw Adamis inobedience

c. attrib. Of a person's position or title: Confirmed; undisputed. 1540 Lynd. Sat. 3402 (Ch.).
In my abbay quhen I was sure professour, Then did I leife as did my predecessour

d. Of conscience: That is characterised by certainty or freedom from doubt. a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 329 (Harl.).
Maire sueitnes is in to sure [Arund. fair] conscience, … Than is in ony carnall complacence

e. To mak it suir, to make certain or ascertain, (that something is or is not the case). 1594 Facs. Nat. MSS III lxxv.
The said Jhone … ather sall find the sam or than mak it suir that na sik thing hes bein thair

9. Assured as to the trustworthiness of another person. a1568 Bann. MS 87b/18.
Be weill awysit of quhome thow counsale tais Be sever of thame that thai be leill and trew

10. To be sure of, to be certain of keeping or keeping safe (a possession). 1567 Sat. P. v 33.
Think weill ȝe aucht for to be faine … To get the jewell [sc. Queen Mary] in ȝour hand. Sen ȝe it haue, thairof be suire, Or els ȝe ar rycht far to blame; Gif ȝe hir till eschaip enduire, Think ȝe sall haue baith skaith & shame

11. Fully competent in the skill indicated by the noun; skilled, expert. 1567 G. Ball. 170.
Thow art the Chirurgiane sure That haillis all eirdlie creature
1570 Leslie 167.
[James V] was alsua a good and suir justicar

12. a. Of knowledge, evidence or the like: Accurate, true, certain. b. Of a belief, opinion, etc.: Assured, confident.a. (1) c1520-c1535 Nisbet 1 Cor. ii 8 marg.
To haif anne suir and faithfull knawleg of Crist is to leif euirlestinly
1556–7 Edinb. Old Acc. I 206.
For the copye of the paroche clerk buik for the mair suir knawlage of all personis abill of bodye and guids
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 314/71.
This tale is trew and surar nor the bas Radix malorum est cupiditas
a1578 Pitsc. I 31/11.
He haid suire knawledg quhair the king was
a1585 Arbuthnot in Maitl. Q. 140/5.
Of the wryter gif suire be the sentens That troublit hairt makis a rurell ryme
1582 Misc. Spald. C. II 334.
That I may haif ane suir pruif of thair guid behauiour towardis me
1608 Glasgow B. Rec. II 556.
c1610 Melville Mem. 81.
To get sur knawlege gene my Lord James Pryour of Sanctandrowes minted to mak hym self King
1622-6 Bisset II 139/1.
For thy suirare [informatioun and forther] instructioun
1622-6 Bisset II 157/10.
The uthir rakning abonespecifiit appeiris to be the best and suirest
1665 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 219.
Haveing receaved suir informatione of the … victorie of his Majesties navie
(2) 1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 164/18.
It is sure that Jesus Christ our salueour come to fulfill the law
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV ii 75.
Yf it may be suer that I [Mary] may appropriat that quhilk is wonne
b. 1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 23.
And thai put me in suir beleve … that thai suld bryng my lord governour to this toun
1553–4 Misc. Maitl. C. I 41.
My suyr traist and esperance is onelie in ȝour grace
1596 Dalr. I 287/24.
Throw a certane suspicioune and suir opinioun

c. Unquestionable, indisputable, unambiguous. a1570-86 Maitl. F. 419/22.
Think it no baill bot blissing frome abowe Ane signe moist suir that ȝe ar nocht forsaikin
1622-6 Bisset I 9/29.
To serche out the suir certantie of the antiquities … of Scotland
1629 Dalyell Darker Superst. 42.
As ane suir takin that sho was the authour of his death
1648 Strathbogie Presb. 87.
Desyring the said Mr. William to come and prosecute his presentatioun, shewing him therby his suir calling to the said charge

13. a. Of a future state of affairs: Certain to come about, inevitable. b. Of a person: Bound, certain (to do something).a. c1541–2 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 27.
Beleving na thing mair swire nor gude peace and rest
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5051.
Sett nocht thy cure In erth, quhare no thyng may be sure
c1568 Lauder Minor P. ii 86.
Lat no man think bot this is sure, That God wyll plaig ws but delay
1586 Edinb. Test. XV 141.
Knawing nathing mair surare than deth and nathing mair vnsure than the tyme and hour thairof
b. 1638-50 Hamilton P. (Camden Soc.) 4.
If I should gooe about to dou itt I am sheure to faill and to reseve ane affront

14. Efficacious, effective.(a) c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 50.
In hir was … Wisedome, largesse, estate, and connyng sure
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2334.
‘Thir hennis’, quod he, ‘sall mak thy querrell sure’
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 8/7.
For remeid and sure medicyne and hele of our saull
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) ix 93.
Of non repentance, and satisfaction seur [v.rr. sure]
1548–9 Corr. M. Lorraine 292.
Caus wait … sa mony as is nedfull, and maik for suir advertisment in tha parttis, that tha be nocht stoun on
1568 Cal. Sc. P. II 524.
Suyer remeid
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 288/26.
The sureast way that I can find Is first to prufe and syne to trust
1610 Wemyss of Bogie MSS.
For the said Sir James his mair certane and seur relief of the cautionarie
1637 Innes Sketches 519.
I … doe find by proofe that the soorest waye to make them prosper is to saw them in the seid
1654 Fam. Innes 174.
This berrar by whome your lordship may haue the … shourer conveniencie of leteing me knowe your plesour
1500-1699 Herbarius Latinus Annot. (Bot.).
Vring reid & gret in hat feueris betakines that he makis nocht sa sour degestioun as neid war

II. Passing into adv. in predicative uses of various of the above senses.

15. Without danger, safely. 1490 Irland Mir. II 142/10.
Thai suld cum sur without perell to thar cuntre
1596 Dalr. II 314/4.
The Inglis nauie, quhilke suir stude in the rede, becaus all the Frenche galayes … war sailed to France
1616 Anal. Scot. II 3.
I directed thir books long syn to have been send to ȝou, but my preciseness in care to have it swir conviyt … maid it thir long to delay

16. Strongly, firmly, securely, in various fig. contexts. c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 131.
For lo, the werk that first is foundit sure May better bere a pace and hyare be Than othir wise
1567 G. Ball. 232.
Anker ȝow sure on haly scripture
a1568 Bann. MS 227b/19.
On ȝow my hairt is fixit sur
a1568 Bann. MS 246b/40.
Chryst sen my corps that nycht and day is fane Seisit wer sur in to my sepultur
a1585 Maitl. Q. 144/63.
Sen ȝe haue lerned ȝe ar the Lordis elect Sa suir seilled vp

17. As a fact or certainty; certainly, assuredly, beyond a doubt. Also for sure.(1) 1556 Lauder Off. Kings 298.
Ȝe … for no fauour suld promoue thame … Except ȝe vnderstude moste sure Thame apt and ganand for the ȝok
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7026.
I salbe callit the ill woman full sure
a1568 Bann. MS 74a/5.
Considderin thy self sur bayth the riche & the pure Ar all of ane natur off Adamis kin
a1568 Scott i 203.
Suppone maist sure He sall thé send support
c1578 Reid Swire 6.
Alace that day I'le ne'er forgett Was sure so fear'd & than so faine
1611-57 Mure Psalmes cxxvii.
Swre, quietlie, to sleep, the Lord To his belov'd shal giue
1660 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 697.
Ye say nothing to the point in hand; and that, sure, is not your meaning
(b) 1513 Doug. vi vii 101.
Quhar as Sycheus, hir first spows, ful suyr Corespondis to hir desyre and cuyr
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 66/15.
Quho … trestis in all thay say Swir swir he is begylit
c1590 Fowler I 62/109.
A mater swir of stately style and of heroicall verse
1611-57 Mure Sonn. vi 5.
Thy beutyes did my sensses suire suppryse
1638 Lundie Poems 36.
Then suire of me thy houps hade bein but small
(c) a1568 Sempill in Sat. P. xlviii 31.
Seure, be my witting, not brunt in the litting
(d) 1635-64 Hist. Fragm. III 9.
No, I hope it was not our meaning. Soore it was not mine
(2) a1500 Henr. Orph. 210 (Bann.).
‘For sur,’ quod scho, ‘ȝe mone seik nedirmair'

b. As shure as. 1683 Erskine Diary 6.
As shure as the sun shined in heaven there should not be a man in Scotland who … should not either take the Test or leave Scotland

18. With certainty of accomplishment; efficaciously, effectively.For Bann. MS variant of Howlat quot. see S(c)hour n.(a) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) ix 76.
Nocht with the foure vertewis cardenall Aganis vycis seure enarming me
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) xi 41.
Thocht thow be taklit nevir so sure Thow sall in deathis port arryve
15.. Clar. i 1132.
He haillit him of his woundis haill and sure
15.. Dum Wyf 53.
Thinkand his cuir to wirk most suir, He lay walkand quhill day
1663 Inverness Rec. II 216.
Foir traineing up, dreilling, and leiding, conducting of the said inhabitants suer furnisched
(b) c1450-2 Howlat 768 (A).
Quhen thai had songyn & said softly & schoure And playit as of paradys it a poynt ware In com japand the ia

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"Sure adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Jan 2023 <>



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