cer·​ti·​fy | \ˈsər-tə-ˌfī \
certified; certifying

Definition of certify 

transitive verb

1 : to attest authoritatively: such as

a : confirm

b : to present in formal communication

c : to attest as being true or as represented or as meeting a standard

d : to attest officially to the insanity of

2 : to inform with certainty : assure

3 : to guarantee (a personal check) as to signature and amount by so indicating on the face

4 : to recognize as having met special qualifications (as of a governmental agency or professional board) within a field agencies that certify teachers

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from certify

certifier \-​ˌfī(-​ə)r \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for certify


accredit, authorize, charter [British], commission, empower, enable, invest, license (also licence), qualify, vest, warrant



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for certify

certify, attest, witness, vouch mean to testify to the truth or genuineness of something. certify usually applies to a written statement, especially one carrying a signature or seal. certified that the candidate had met all requirements attest applies to oral or written testimony usually from experts or witnesses. attested to the authenticity of the document witness applies to the subscribing of one's own name to a document as evidence of its genuineness. witnessed the signing of the will vouch applies to one who testifies as a competent authority or a reliable person. willing to vouch for her integrity

synonyms see in addition approve

Examples of certify in a Sentence

A judge must certify the contract. The document has been certified by the court. The car dealer certifies each car before it is sold. Has your doctor been certified?
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Otherwise, the mattress is made with memory foam that meets CertiPUR-US certified standards for content, emissions, and durability, meaning it's made without harmful chemicals. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "People Swear By This Green Tea Mattress On Amazon," 18 Oct. 2018 Plant Prefab claims to be the first home factory in the nation focused on sustainable construction, materials, processes and operations, and many of its homes are LEED certified. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Amazon invests in prefab startup focused on smart home tech," 25 Sep. 2018 The authority has 180 units across four housing complexes for income-eligible seniors and people certified as disabled by the Social Security Administration who meet state guidelines. Bill Leukhardt, Courant Community, "Waiting List Open For Southington Housing Authority Apartments," 13 July 2018 The day after the mass layoffs in April, Harvey’s firefighters pension fund certified its own claim against the city for $12.4 million in delinquent payments. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "Harvey cuts deal for $1.3M in withheld taxes, escapes financial crisis for now — but city still owes millions," 8 June 2018 Embraer Embraer has been around for five decades and in that time has designed, developed and certified close to 50 aircraft models. Kirsten Korosec, Fortune, "Uber Has Enlisted These 5 Companies to Build Its Flying Cars," 9 May 2018 The bureaucracy has issued some 250,000 documents certifying the bearer as a freedom fighter. The Economist, "Protests in Bangladesh put an end to a corrupt quota system," 21 Apr. 2018 In almost 80 percent of nearly 16,000 contacts, an officer certified in crisis intervention training responded, the report said. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "Fight over Seattle police contract goes to federal court," 3 Nov. 2018 The proposed law's fines and prison sentences would apply to executives who certify statements in annual reports that don't meet all the requirements. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Proposed data privacy law could send company execs to prison for 20 years," 2 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of certify

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for certify

Middle English certifien, from Anglo-French certefier, from Late Latin certificare, from Latin certus certain — more at certain

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about certify

Statistics for certify

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for certify

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for certify



English Language Learners Definition of certify

: to say officially that something is true, correct, or genuine

: to say officially that something or someone has met certain standards or requirements

: to say officially that someone is insane and in need of treatment


cer·​ti·​fy | \ˈsər-tə-ˌfī \
certified; certifying

Kids Definition of certify

1 : to show to be true or as claimed by a formal or official statement Only the teacher can certify test scores.

2 : to guarantee the quality, fitness, or value of officially certified milk certify a check

3 : to show to have met certain requirements His school needs to certify him for graduation.


cer·​ti·​fy | \ˈsərt-ə-ˌfī \
certified; certifying

Medical Definition of certify 

transitive verb

1 : to attest authoritatively especially : to attest officially to the mental illness of

2 : to designate as having met the requirements to practice medicine or a particular medical specialty

intransitive verb

: to attest by a certificate five year program leading to examination by the American Board which certifies in that specialtyBulletin of Meharry Medical College

Other Words from certify

certifiable \ˈsər-​tə-​ˌfī-​ə-​bəl, ˌsər-​tə-​ˈfī-​ \ adjective
certifiably \-​blē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more


transitive verb
cer·​ti·​fy | \ˈsər-tə-ˌfī \
certified; certifying

Legal Definition of certify 

1 : to state authoritatively: as

a : to give assurance of the validity of certify corporate records

b : to present in formal communication (as an order) especially for review by an appellate court the court may certify the question to the Supreme Judicial Court— R. T. Gerwatowski — see also certification

c : to state as being true or as reported or as meeting a standard refused to certify the suit as a class action and dismissed it— Marcia Coyle

2 : to guarantee (a personal check) as to signature and amount by so indicating (as by stamping certified) on the face — see also certified check at check

3a : certificate, license

b : to designate (a labor union) as an exclusive bargaining agent or representative

History and Etymology for certify

Medieval Latin certificare, from Late Latin, to assure, convince, from Latin certus certain + -ficare to make

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on certify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with certify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for certify

Spanish Central: Translation of certify

Nglish: Translation of certify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of certify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on certify

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!