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

These employers will benefit from having fiscal certainty over their health expenditures. Avik Roy, Twin Cities, "Avik Roy: Trump could revolutionize the private health insurance market," 20 June 2019 Sidney Paget reportedly modeled the detective after his brother Walter and a photograph of the latter, reproduced here, makes that a near certainty. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "The enduring fascination with Sherlock Holmes: It’s elementary.," 19 June 2019 Renteria’s certainty about 2020 makes more sense than Maddon’s limbo, a development underappreciated in a market oversaturated with Cubs coverage. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Rick Renteria earns the right to lead White Sox to the next level — a chance he didn’t get with the Cubs," 17 June 2019 Those include cost efficiency, fiscal certainty for students and their families, and increasing access to UC. John Woolfolk, The Mercury News, "UC vs. UT: Why have spending and tuition grown so much faster at the University of California?," 16 June 2019 There does not appear to be the same level of certainty regarding Leist's future. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Frustration mounting at Foyt; team prepares to make changes," 12 June 2019 With ancient creatures branching off to modern-day animals, this was the catalytic moment when Darwin realized with all certainty that all plants and animals are related. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian, "Here Are 12 Things You Might Miss in the Smithsonian’s New Fossil Hall," 7 June 2019 Now all that’s left of Hope and Glory is Brexit champion Nigel Farage’s Union Jack socks and the certainty that the Queen is the last person who still knows how to behave in public. Tina Brown, Time, "Tina Brown: How Britain Lost the Plot Over Brexit," 6 June 2019 However, her crowning achievement is the personal-yet-universal message rendered from the self-assured voice, whose only certainty is uncertainty. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 50 Best Albums of 2019 (So Far): Staff Picks," 3 June 2019

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

23 Jun 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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