certainty

noun
cer·​tain·​ty | \ ˈsər-tᵊn-tē How to pronounce certainty (audio) \
plural certainties

Definition of certainty

1 : something that is certain
2 : the quality or state of being certain especially on the basis of evidence

Choose the Right Synonym for certainty

certainty, certitude, conviction mean a state of being free from doubt. certainty and certitude are very close; certainty may stress the existence of objective proof claims that cannot be confirmed with scientific certainty , while certitude may emphasize a faith in something not needing or not capable of proof. believes with certitude in an afterlife conviction applies especially to belief strongly held by an individual. holds firm convictions on every issue

Examples of certainty in a Sentence

Scientists still do not know with any degree of certainty why the disease spread so quickly. We cannot predict the outcome with absolute certainty. There was no certainty that the package would arrive in time. Her certainty about these complex moral issues is surprising.
Recent Examples on the Web As is always true with oil and gas, unpredictable global forces make future prices impossible to predict with certainty. Ron Hurtibise, Sun Sentinel, 19 Sep. 2022 That's slowed most dealmaking to a crawl, as companies wait for more certainty before pursuing mergers or public offerings. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 6 Sep. 2022 There’s more certainty on the interior of the line with Gaines and fellow fifth-year senior Atonio Mafi at guard flanking senior center Duke Clemens. Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2022 The number isn't known with certainty because fawns continue to be born at the site. Paul A. Smith, USA TODAY, 26 July 2022 Among the reforms: The SBA will extend the pilot program to Sept. 30, 2024, providing more certainty for the Community Advantage program, which was set to end in September 2022. Rohit Arora, Forbes, 30 June 2022 Despite that, medical experts still can’t say with certainty how drug use affects developing fetuses. al, 1 Sep. 2022 The number isn't known with certainty because fawns continue to be born at the site. Paul A. Smith, USA TODAY, 26 July 2022 Unlike a digital system, where a bit can be flipped from a one to a zero with certainty, a quantum computer operates in an analog world. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 25 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of certainty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for certainty

Middle English certeinte, borrowed from Anglo-French certeinté, from certein, certain certain entry 1 + -té -ty

Learn More About certainty

Time Traveler for certainty

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near certainty

certainness

certainty

certation

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for certainty

Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Certainty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/certainty. Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for certainty

certainty

noun
cer·​tain·​ty | \ ˈsər-tᵊn-tē How to pronounce certainty (audio) \
plural certainties

Kids Definition of certainty

1 : something that is sure Victory was a certainty.
2 : the quality or state of being sure She answered with certainty.

More from Merriam-Webster on certainty

Nglish: Translation of certainty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of certainty for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about certainty

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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