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adjective
cer·​tain | \ ˈsər-tᵊn How to pronounce certain (audio) \

Definition of certain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fixed, settled a certain percentage of the profit
Bruins College Kevin Jersey Basketball Blue Love 42 2 : of a specific but unspecified character, quantity, or degree the house has a certain charm
3a Bruins College Kevin Jersey Basketball Blue Love 42 :dependable, Bruins College Kevin Jersey Basketball Blue Love 42 reliable a certain remedy for the disease
b : known or proved to be true : indisputable it is certain that we exist
4a Bruins College Kevin Jersey Basketball Blue Love 42 :inevitable the Bruins College Kevin Jersey Basketball Blue Love 42 certain advance of age
b : incapable of failing : destined used with a following infinitive she is certain to do well
5 : assured in mind or action I am certain they are right
for certain
: as a certainty : assuredly the cause is not known for certain
of a certain age
: of a somewhat advanced age : no longer young remembered by people of a certain age
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Definition of certain (Entry 2 of 2)

Bruins College Kevin Jersey Basketball Blue Love 42 :certain ones certain of my generation— W. B. Yeats

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Synonyms for certain

Synonyms: Adjective

anonymous, given, one, some, unidentified, unnamed, unspecified

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Choose the Right Synonym for certain

Adjective

sure, certain, positive, cocksure mean having no doubt or uncertainty. sure usually stresses the subjective or intuitive feeling of assurance. felt sure that I had forgotten something certain may apply to a basing of a conclusion or conviction on definite grounds or indubitable evidence. police are certain about the cause of the fire positive intensifies sureness or certainty and may imply opinionated conviction or forceful expression of it. I'm positive that's the person I saw cocksure implies presumptuous or careless positiveness. you're always so cocksure about everything

Examples of certain in a Sentence

Adjective

I'm fairly certain that I'll be on time. a certain person told me that today is your birthday

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

His future seems less certain than ever at the Bernabeu after Zidane made blunt comments last weekend about his impending exit and has been peppered with questions regarding the Welsh star ever since. Luis Miguel Echegaray, SI.com, "Stars Old and New All Have a Stake in Remaking Real Madrid," 26 July 2019 The only thing for certain Bulldogs Stitched Murray College Red 11 Player Fashion Jersey Aaronis that when the temperature rises, so does our desire to dig in to some steamy romance novels. Glamour, "The 21 Best Romance Novels to Read Right Now," 26 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'certain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of certain

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Pronoun, plural in construction

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for certain

Adjective

Middle English certeyn, certayne, borrowed from Anglo-French certein, certain, going back to Vulgar Latin *certānus, from Latin certus "fixed, settled, indisputable," originally past participle of cernere "to sift, discern, decide, determine" (going back to an Indo-European present stem *kri-n-, verbal adjective *kri-to-, from a verbal base *krei̯̯̯(h1)- "sift, separate," whence Greek krī́nein "to separate, choose, decide," verbal adjective kritós, Welsh gogrynu "to sift") + -ānus + -an entry 2

Pronoun, plural in construction

Middle English certyn, derivative of certeyn certain entry 1 — see certain entry 1

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More Definitions for certain

certain

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of certain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not having any doubt about something : convinced or sure
Stitched Green Marcus Ducks College Jersey Mariota Limited 8used to say that something will definitely happen or that someone will definitely do something often followed by to + verb

certain

pronoun

English Language Learners Definition of certain (Entry 2 of 2)

formal : certain ones : particular members of a group

certain

adjective
cer·​tain | \ ˈsər-tᵊn How to pronounce certain (audio) \

Kids Definition of certain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : without any doubt : sure Are you certain you saw her?
2 : known to be true It's certain that they were here.
3 : known but not named A certain person told me.
4 : being fixed or settled a certain percentage of the profit
5 : bound by the way things are Our plan is certain to succeed.
6 : sure to have an effect a certain cure

certain

pronoun

Kids Definition of certain (Entry 2 of 2)

: known ones that are not named Certain of the students could work harder.

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More from Merriam-Webster on certain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with certain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for certain

Spanish Central: Translation of certain

Nglish: Translation of certain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of certain for Arabic Speakers

Comments on certain

What made you want to look up certain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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