uncertainty

noun
un·​cer·​tain·​ty | \ ˌən-ˈsər-tᵊn-tē How to pronounce uncertainty (audio) \

Definition of uncertainty

1 : the quality or state of being uncertain : doubt
2 : something that is uncertain

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Choose the Right Synonym for uncertainty

uncertainty, doubt, dubiety, skepticism, suspicion, mistrust mean lack of sureness about someone or something. uncertainty may range from a falling short of certainty to an almost complete lack of conviction or knowledge especially about an outcome or result. assumed the role of manager without hesitation or uncertainty doubt suggests both uncertainty and inability to make a decision. plagued by doubts as to what to do dubiety stresses a wavering between conclusions. felt some dubiety about its practicality skepticism implies unwillingness to believe without conclusive evidence. an economic forecast greeted with skepticism suspicion stresses lack of faith in the truth, reality, fairness, or reliability of something or someone. regarded the stranger with suspicion mistrust implies a genuine doubt based upon suspicion. had a great mistrust of doctors

Examples of uncertainty in a Sentence

There is some uncertainty about the company's future. He accepted the position without hesitation or uncertainty.

Recent Examples on the Web

There is a material uncertainty that exists that may cast significant doubt as to whether the Group will be able to continue as a going concern. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Philadelphia Shipyard Fights Again for Its Life," 17 Apr. 2019 Advertising Negotiations on Pyongyang’s nuclear program appear to be stalled, and there is uncertainty over whether Kim is considering backing out of talks or restarting nuclear and missile tests. Deb Riechmann, The Seattle Times, "Trump wants to keep NKorea sanctions, won’t rule out summit," 12 Apr. 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 Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say due to its small size, there is greater-than-usual uncertainty about its intensity. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Beryl Is 2018's First Hurricane —and Chris Could Be Brewing Off the East Coast," 6 July 2018 By late 2013 the symphony decided to pass on the Couture proposal because there were too many uncertainties regarding the high-rise's development schedule, said Susan Loris, executive vice president for institutional advancement. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Symphony's $89 million concert hall will have huge impact on downtown's west side," 15 June 2018 Anything but macabre, the book and the party celebrated the republic, for all its uncertainties and peculiarities. Ian Malone, Vogue, "Jeff Koons and Monica Lewinsky Attend a Book Party Honoring Accidental Presidents at Ralph Lauren," 3 Apr. 2019 In view of the great uncertainty about the occupation of some crucial posts in the operational services, this guarantee can only be given by not allowing air traffic. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Belgium Cancels All Flights For 24 Hours as Air Traffic Controllers Strike," 13 Feb. 2019 The experiment has helped undercut the yellow-vest movement, which has ripped through France in recent months, destroying storefronts and sowing political uncertainty in the heart of Europe. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "French Press for Tax Cuts as Macron Pressured to Deliver Change," 8 Apr. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for uncertainty

Last Updated

13 May 2019

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Time Traveler for uncertainty

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

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More Definitions for uncertainty

uncertainty

noun

English Language Learners Definition of uncertainty

: the quality or state of being uncertain
: something that is doubtful or unknown : something that is uncertain

uncertainty

noun
un·​cer·​tain·​ty | \ ˌən-ˈsər-tᵊn-tē How to pronounce uncertainty (audio) \
plural uncertainties

Kids Definition of uncertainty

1 : lack of certainty : doubt Uncertainty made the days of waiting longer …— William H. Armstrong, Sounder
2 : something that is doubtful or unknown Life is full of uncertainties.

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