uncertainty

noun un·cer·tain·ty \ ˌən-ˈsər-tᵊn-tē \
Updated on: 4 Dec 2017

Definition of uncertainty

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

Examples of uncertainty in a Sentence

  1. There is some uncertainty about the company's future.

  2. He accepted the position without hesitation or uncertainty.

Recent Examples of uncertainty from the Web

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.

First Known Use of uncertainty

14th century

Synonym Discussion of 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

UNCERTAINTY Defined for English Language Learners

uncertainty

noun

Definition of uncertainty for English Language Learners

  • : the quality or state of being uncertain

  • : something that is doubtful or unknown : something that is uncertain


UNCERTAINTY Defined for Kids

uncertainty

noun un·cer·tain·ty \ ˌən-ˈsər-tᵊn-tē \

Definition of uncertainty for Students

plural uncertainties
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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