un·​cer·​tain | \ ˌən-ˈsər-tᵊn How to pronounce uncertain (audio) \

Definition of uncertain

1a : not known beyond doubt : dubious an uncertain claim
b : not having certain knowledge : doubtful remains uncertain about her plans
c : not clearly identified or defined a fire of uncertain origin
2 : not constant : variable, fitful an uncertain breeze
3 : indefinite, indeterminate the time of departure is uncertain
4 : not certain to occur : problematical his success was uncertain
5 : not reliable : untrustworthy an uncertain ally

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Other Words from uncertain

uncertainly adverb
uncertainness \ ˌən-​ˈsər-​tᵊn-​(n)əs How to pronounce uncertain (audio) \ noun

Examples of uncertain in a Sentence

The time of departure is still uncertain. We are still uncertain of the truth. She remains uncertain about her plans. I'm uncertain about how to respond. The cause of the fire is uncertain. He has an uncertain temper. They face a financially uncertain future.
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Recent Examples on the Web Event planners, and their clients, are uncertain too. BostonGlobe.com, 27 July 2021 The Paycheck Protection Program is closed, the Small Business Administration’s Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance is causing headaches and the prospects for additional Covid-19 relief funds are uncertain at best. cleveland, 27 July 2021 Whether Mikati will succeed where the others failed to form a new government is uncertain. Washington Post, 26 July 2021 While the exact timing of each release is uncertain, episodes should be released sometime around 3 a.m. ET. Sabrina Park, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 July 2021 Pardis left behind a 9-year-old daughter whose future is now uncertain. Anna Coren, CNN, 22 July 2021 The music festival's status had been uncertain for months because of pandemic restrictions. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 20 July 2021 For months after the commission, the future of the mural was uncertain. Clara Longo De Freitas, baltimoresun.com, 20 July 2021 The exact date of its opening is uncertain, because the turf is still growing as the county also works to conserve water during the drought. Alixel Cabrera, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 July 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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

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Last Updated

29 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Uncertain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uncertain. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for uncertain



English Language Learners Definition of uncertain

: not exactly known or decided : not definite or fixed
: not sure : having some doubt about something
: not definitely known


un·​cer·​tain | \ ˌən-ˈsər-tᵊn How to pronounce uncertain (audio) \

Kids Definition of uncertain

1 : not exactly known or decided on an uncertain amount
2 : not sure They were uncertain of the rules.
3 : not known for sure an uncertain claim
4 : likely to change : not dependable uncertain weather

Other Words from uncertain

uncertainly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on uncertain

Nglish: Translation of uncertain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of uncertain for Arabic Speakers


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