Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of certain
Meaning of certain by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English certain, certein, from Old French certain, from Vulgar Latin unattested form *certānus, extended form of Latin certus ( “fixed, resolved, certain” ), of the same origin as cretus, past participle of cernere ( “to separate, perceive, decide” ). Displaced native Middle English wis, iwis ( “certain, sure” ) ( from Old English gewiss ġewis, ġewiss ( “certain, sure” ) and alternative Middle English spelling sertane ( “some, certain” )


    • ( RP ) IPA: /sɜːtn/, X-SAMPA: /s3:tn/
    • ( GenAm ) IPA: /sɝtn/, /sɝʔn̩/, X-SAMPA: /s3`tn/
    • ( Canada ) IPA: /ˈsɝtən/, /ˈsɝt̚n̩/
    • Rhymes: -ɜː( r )tən
    • Hyphenation: cer‧tain


    certain ( comparative more certain, superlative most certain )

    1. Sure, positive, not doubting .
      I was certain of my decision .


    • See also Wikisaurus:certain


    Derived terms

    Related terms



    1. Having been determined but unspecified. The quality of some particular subject or object which is known by the speaker to have been specifically singled out among similar entities of its class .
      Certain people are good at running .


    External links

    • certain in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • certain in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911


Explanation of certain by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. exercising or taking care great enough to bring assurance

    2. be certain to disconnect the iron when you are through
    3. established beyond doubt or question

    4. what is certain is that every effect must have a cause
      it is certain that they were on the bus
      his fate is certain
      the date for the invasion is certain
    5. having or feeling no doubt or uncertainty

    6. felt certain of success
      was sure ( or certain ) she had seen it
    7. certain to occur

    8. he was certain to fail
      his fate is certain
      In this life nothing is certain but death and taxes- Benjamin Franklin
      he faced certain death
    9. definite but not specified or identified

    10. set aside a certain sum each week
      to a certain degree
      certain breeds do not make good pets
      certain members have not paid their dues
      a certain popular teacher
      a certain Mrs. Jones
    11. reliable in operation or effect

    12. a quick and certain remedy
    13. established irrevocably

    Definition of certain by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Certain a. [F. certain, fr. ( assumed ) LL. certanus, fr. L. certus determined, fixed, certain, orig. p. p. of cernere to perceive, decide, determine; akin to Gr. to decide, separate, and to E. concern, critic, crime, riddle a sieve, rinse, v.]
      1. Assured in mind; having no doubts; free from suspicions concerning.

      To make her certain of the sad event. Dryden.

      I myself am certain of you. Wyclif.

      2. Determined; resolved; -- used with an infinitive.

      However, I with thee have fixed my lot,

      Certain to undergo like doom. Milton.

      3. Not to be doubted or denied; established as a fact.

      The dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. Dan. ii. 45.

      4. Actually existing; sure to happen; inevitable.

      Virtue that directs our ways

      Through certain dangers to uncertain praise. Dryden.

      Death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all. Shak.

      5. Unfailing; infallible.

      I have often wished that I knew as certain a remedy for any other distemper. Mead.

      6. Fixed or stated; regular; determinate.

      The people go out and gather a certain rate every day. Ex. xvi. 4.

      7. Not specifically named; indeterminate; indefinite; one or some; -- sometimes used independenty as a noun, and meaning certain persons.

      It came to pass when he was in a certain city. Luke. v. 12.

      About everything he wrote there was a certain natural grace und decorum. Macaulay.

      For certain, assuredly. -- Of a certain, certainly.

      Syn. -- Bound; sure; true; undeniable; unquestionable; undoubted; plain; indubitable; indisputable; incontrovertible; unhesitating; undoubting; fixed; stated.

    2. Certain, n.
      1. Certainty. [Obs.] Gower.

      2. A certain number or quantity. [Obs.] Chaucer.

    3. Certain, adv. Certainly. [Obs.] Milton.