certainty

noun
cer·​tain·​ty | \ ˈsər-tᵊn-tē How to pronounce certainty (audio) \
plural certainties

Definition of certainty

1 : something that is certain
2 : the quality or state of being certain especially on the basis of evidence

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Choose the Right Synonym for certainty

certainty, certitude, conviction mean a state of being free from doubt. certainty and certitude are very close; certainty may stress the existence of objective proof claims that cannot be confirmed with scientific certainty , while certitude may emphasize a faith in something not needing or not capable of proof. believes with certitude in an afterlife conviction applies especially to belief strongly held by an individual. holds firm convictions on every issue

Examples of certainty in a Sentence

Scientists still do not know with any degree of certainty why the disease spread so quickly. We cannot predict the outcome with absolute certainty. There was no certainty that the package would arrive in time. Her certainty about these complex moral issues is surprising.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But hindsight—and documentaries—are often 2020, and as each of Ocasio-Cortez’s compatriots suffer crushing losses in their own districts, their pain is a necessary corrective to any certainty AOC’s march to the finish might convey. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Knock Down the House Reminds Us that AOC's Triumph Almost Wasn't," 3 May 2019 Decision-making has ground to a standstill, even as business leaders and residents alike cry out for certainty. Jill Lawless, The Seattle Times, "Shame, sadness in UK as Brexit reveals Parliament’s flaws," 14 Apr. 2019 Despite certainty that floor space had little chance of being rented out, the Empire State Building’s construction continued as the economic collapse approached its second year. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "A Friendship Turned to Rivalry. A Feud That Changed the New York Skyline.," 27 Mar. 2019 Don't mistake merit for certainty, though: Several of the convincing fan theories out there will bum you out. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "7 Stranger Things Season 3 Fan Theories That Will Turn Your Mind Upside Down," 22 Mar. 2019 Whereas the p-value gauges the certainty that one variable is affecting another—for example, screens making us sad—PVE reveals the magnitude of the effect. Jessica Wapner, SELF, "How Worried Do You Really Need to Be About Your Screen Time?," 7 Feb. 2019 Nonetheless, despite his doctor's purported certainty, typhoid fever wasn't officially attached to Albert's records until seven days after his death. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "How Did Queen Victoria's Husband Prince Albert Die?," 4 Mar. 2019 In the course of compiling its annual Emerging Trends report, the Urban Land Institute found that the only certainty in its outlook for 2019 was uncertainty. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "The 10 top emerging trends that will shape real estate in 2019," 10 Oct. 2018 Her understanding of the character had come all at once, with certainty. Nathan Heller, Vogue, "Claire Foy on Becoming a Mother and Trading Her Crown for a Dragon Tattoo," 10 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'certainty.' 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 certainty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for certainty

Middle English certeinte, borrowed from Anglo-French certeinté, from certein, certain certain entry 1 + -té -ty

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Statistics for certainty

Last Updated

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for certainty

The first known use of certainty was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for certainty

certainty

noun

English Language Learners Definition of certainty

: the state of being or feeling certain about something
: something that is certain : a fact about which there is no doubt

certainty

noun
cer·​tain·​ty | \ ˈsər-tᵊn-tē How to pronounce certainty (audio) \
plural certainties

Kids Definition of certainty

1 : something that is sure Victory was a certainty.
2 : the quality or state of being sure She answered with certainty.

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Comments on certainty

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a strong desire or propensity

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