What does certain mean?

Definitions for certain
ˈsɜr tncer·tain

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word certain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. certain(a)adjective

    definite but not specified or identified

    "set aside a certain sum each week"; "to a certain degree"; "certain breeds do not make good pets"; "certain members have not paid their dues"; "a certain popular teacher"; "a certain Mrs. Jones"

  2. certain(p), sureadjective

    having or feeling no doubt or uncertainty; confident and assured

    "felt certain of success"; "was sure (or certain) she had seen it"; "was very sure in his beliefs"; "sure of her friends"

  3. certain(p)adjective

    established beyond doubt or question; definitely known

    "what is certain is that every effect must have a cause"; "it is certain that they were on the bus"; "his fate is certain"; "the date for the invasion is certain"

  4. certain, sureadjective

    certain to occur; destined or inevitable

    "he was certain to fail"; "his fate is certain"; "In this life nothing is certain but death and taxes"- Benjamin Franklin; "he faced certain death"; "sudden but sure regret"; "he is sure to win"

  5. sealed, certainadjective

    established irrevocably

    "his fate is sealed"

  6. certain, sureadjective

    reliable in operation or effect

    "a quick and certain remedy"; "a sure way to distinguish the two"; "wood dust is a sure sign of termites"

  7. certain, sureadjective

    exercising or taking care great enough to bring assurance

    "be certain to disconnect the iron when you are through"; "be sure to lock the doors"


  1. certainadjective

    Having been determined but unspecified. The quality of some particular subject or object which is known by the speaker to have been specifically singled out among similar entities of its class.

    I was certain of my decision.

  2. certainadjective

    Sure, positive, not doubting.

    I was certain of my decision.

  3. Etymology: From certain, certein, from certain, from unattested form, extended form of certus, of the same origin as cretus, past participle of cernere. Displaced native wis, iwis (from gewiss ġewis, ġewiss and alternative spelling sertane

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CERTAINadjective

    Etymology: certus, Lat.

    This it is equally certain of, whether these ideas be more or less general. John Locke.

    Those things are certain among men, which cannot be denied, without obstinacy and folly. John Tillotson.

    However I with thee have fix’d my lot,
    Certain to undergo like doom of death,
    Consort with thee. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. ix. l. 953.

    How bad soever this fashion may justly be accounted, certain of the same countrymen do pass far beyond it. Richard Carew, Survey.

    I got them in my country’s service, when
    Some certain of your brethren roar’d, and ran
    From noise of our own drums. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Let there be certain leather bags made of several bignesses, which, for the matter of them, should be tractable. John Wilkins.

    This form before Alcyone present,
    To make her certain of the sad event. Dryden.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Certainadjective

    assured in mind; having no doubts; free from suspicions concerning

  2. Certainadjective

    determined; resolved; -- used with an infinitive

  3. Certainadjective

    not to be doubted or denied; established as a fact

  4. Certainadjective

    actually existing; sure to happen; inevitable

  5. Certainadjective

    unfailing; infallible

  6. Certainadjective

    fixed or stated; regular; determinate

  7. Certainadjective

    not specifically named; indeterminate; indefinite; one or some; -- sometimes used independenty as a noun, and meaning certain persons

  8. Certainnoun


  9. Certainnoun

    a certain number or quantity

  10. Certainadverb


Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Certain

    sėr′tān, or sėr′tin, adj. sure: not to be doubted: resolved: fixed: regular: inevitable: some: one.—advs. Cer′tainly, (Scot.) Cer′ty, Cer′tie.—ns. Cer′titude, Cer′tainty.—'A certain person,' implying some degree of contempt; A lady of a certain age, of an age best not stated accurately—at least no longer young.—For certain, assuredly.—Moral certainty, a conviction so justifiable that one is morally entitled to act on it. [O. Fr.,—L. certuscern-ĕre, to decide.]

Editors Contribution

  1. certain

    To feel and know with our conscience, consciousness, heart, mind, subconscious, spirit and soul.

    They both are certain they are getting married to each other.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 22, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'certain' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #419

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'certain' in Written Corpus Frequency: #518

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'certain' in Adjectives Frequency: #45

Anagrams for certain »

  1. tacrine

  2. tercian

  3. centiar

  4. nacrite

  5. nectria

  6. citrean

How to pronounce certain?

How to say certain in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of certain in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of certain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of certain in a Sentence

  1. Anand Menon:

    There is a certain logic to saying let's deal with both economic disruptions at once, from supply chains to the way that all of the economy is run, everything is going to have a change as a result of this virus. So, even though the two things are not really related and might make the other worse, I can see some logic politically in doing it all at the same time.

  2. Van Kerkhove:

    A hallmark of coronaviruses is its ability to amplify in certain settings, its ability to cause transmission -- or super spreading events. And we are seeing in a number of situations in these closed settings. When the virus has an opportunity, it can transmit readily.

  3. Benjamin Disraeli:

    Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.

  4. Hailee Steinfeld:

    I do think that the pressure that Emily Dickinson is under to feel or act or do certain things, I think that women still feel that today.

  5. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy:

    Prior to the presidency I was never a diplomat, but I think I have had many such conversations in my life and will have many more, there are certain nuances and things which I think it would be incorrect, even, to publish.

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Translations for certain

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    a bright spot on the parhelic circle; caused by diffraction by ice crystals
    • A. flapper
    • B. chin-wag
    • C. sundog
    • D. viverrine

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