sure‧ly S1 W2
1 [sentence adverb]
used to show that you think something must be true, especially when people seem to be disagreeing with you:
You must have heard about the riots, surely?
There must surely be some explanation.
Surely we can't just stand back and let this happen?
used to show you cannot believe that something is true:
'The chairman's just handed in his resignation.' 'Surely not.'
Such sinners will surely be punished.
4 American English old-fashioned
used to say 'yes' to someone or to express agreement with them
➔ slowly but surelyat slowly (2)WORD CHOICE:
surely, definitely, certainly, naturally, be sure to Use surely to say that you think something must be true, especially when other people do not agree • They should be there by now, surely. Use definitely to say that something is certain to happen or be true • I will definitely be back (NOT I will surely be back) by ten. Use certainly to emphasize that something is true • He certainly is (NOT surely is) a great cook. Use naturally to mean 'as anyone would expect' • They were very late, so naturally I was (NOT surely I was) worried. Use be sure to to say that something is certain to happen • If you work hard you are sure to succeed (NOT you will surely succeed).