certain

adjective
cer·​tain | \ ˈsər-tᵊn How to pronounce certain (audio) \

Definition of certain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fixed, settled a certain percentage of the profit
2 : of a specific but unspecified character, quantity, or degree the house has a certain charm
3a : dependable, reliable a certain remedy for the disease
b : known or proved to be true : indisputable it is certain that we exist
4a : inevitable the certain advance of age
b : incapable of failing : destined used with a following infinitive she is certain to do well
5 : assured in mind or action I am certain they are right
for certain
: as a certainty : assuredly the cause is not known for certain
of a certain age
: of a somewhat advanced age : no longer young remembered by people of a certain age

Definition of certain (Entry 2 of 2)

: certain ones certain of my generation— W. B. Yeats

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Synonyms for certain

Synonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for certain

Adjective

sure, certain, positive, cocksure mean having no doubt or uncertainty. sure usually stresses the subjective or intuitive feeling of assurance. felt sure that I had forgotten something certain may apply to a basing of a conclusion or conviction on definite grounds or indubitable evidence. police are certain about the cause of the fire positive intensifies sureness or certainty and may imply opinionated conviction or forceful expression of it. I'm positive that's the person I saw cocksure implies presumptuous or careless positiveness. you're always so cocksure about everything

Examples of certain in a Sentence

Adjective I'm fairly certain that I'll be on time. a certain person told me that today is your birthday
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective No studies show with any confidence that a certain level of silica exposure is safe for communities, Matsui said.. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 17 Sep. 2021 Through the process, Afghan evacuees are advised by officials that certain parts of the country – including areas with plentiful job openings and cheaper housing – could be good places to begin their new lives in the U.S. Cincinnati Enquirer Staff, The Enquirer, 16 Sep. 2021 Although having reached a certain level of balance with their offense, the Mean Green (1-1) continue to run their system with a swift pace of play that puts defenses on their heels. Evan Dudley, al, 15 Sep. 2021 Valerie takes on this crazy challenge with a certain level of glee, even when she is trapped at one point with Viddick and Teddy in the holding cell. Rodney Ho, ajc, 15 Sep. 2021 And studying these technologies has revealed that certain parts of religious practices, even when removed from a spiritual context, are able to influence people’s minds in the measurable ways psychologists often seek. David Desteno, Wired, 14 Sep. 2021 After a heated debate in February, Delray Beach passed an ordinance banning panhandling in certain parts of the city but elected to have a six-month grace period before enacting punishments. Wells Dusenbury, sun-sentinel.com, 11 Sep. 2021 Most Americans alive today went to public schools that require certain vaccinations for enrollment. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 10 Sep. 2021 Entry to certain parts of the estate, including the labyrinth of gardens by landscape architect André Le Nôtreis, is also allowed before Versailles opens for the day to the general public. Kasia Dietz, Condé Nast Traveler, 10 Sep. 2021

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

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Pronoun, plural in construction

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for certain

Adjective

Middle English certeyn, certayne, borrowed from Anglo-French certein, certain, going back to Vulgar Latin *certānus, from Latin certus "fixed, settled, indisputable," originally past participle of cernere "to sift, discern, decide, determine" (going back to an Indo-European present stem *kri-n-, verbal adjective *kri-to-, from a verbal base *krei̯̯̯(h1)- "sift, separate," whence Greek krī́nein "to separate, choose, decide," verbal adjective kritós, Welsh gogrynu "to sift") + -ānus + -an entry 2

Pronoun, plural in construction

Middle English certyn, derivative of certeyn certain entry 1

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Time Traveler for certain

Time Traveler

The first known use of certain was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near certain

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certain

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Statistics for certain

Last Updated

21 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Certain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/certain. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for certain

certain

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of certain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not having any doubt about something : convinced or sure
used with it to say that something is known to be true or correct
used to say that something will definitely happen or that someone will definitely do something often followed by to + verb

certain

pronoun

English Language Learners Definition of certain (Entry 2 of 2)

: certain ones : particular members of a group : some

certain

adjective
cer·​tain | \ ˈsər-tᵊn How to pronounce certain (audio) \

Kids Definition of certain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : without any doubt : sure Are you certain you saw her?
2 : known to be true It's certain that they were here.
3 : known but not named A certain person told me.
4 : being fixed or settled a certain percentage of the profit
5 : bound by the way things are Our plan is certain to succeed.
6 : sure to have an effect a certain cure

certain

pronoun

Kids Definition of certain (Entry 2 of 2)

: known ones that are not named Certain of the students could work harder.

More from Merriam-Webster on certain

Nglish: Translation of certain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of certain for Arabic Speakers

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