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2017 Word of the Year

uncertainty

[uhn-sur-tn-tee] /ʌnˈsɜr tn ti/
noun, plural uncertainties for 2.
1.
the state of being uncertain; doubt; hesitancy:
His uncertainty gave impetus to his inquiry.
2.
an instance of uncertainty, doubt, etc.
3.
unpredictability; indeterminacy; indefiniteness.
Origin of uncertainty
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English uncerteynte; see un-1, certainty
Synonyms
1. hesitation, irresolution, indecision, ambivalence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for uncertainty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Street came decorously, albeit with a degree of uncertainty as to supper.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • The child did not know what to say, but it was not natural to her to remain long in uncertainty.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • Then there had been the misery of terrible suspense, a wait of uncertainty.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • This uncertainty led to a most unfortunate precipitation on his part.

  • There was something of uncertainty and remonstrance in her look; something that was not all satisfaction.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for uncertainty

uncertainty

/ʌnˈsɜːtəntɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
Also called uncertainness. the state or condition of being uncertain
2.
an uncertain matter, contingency, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for uncertainty
n.

late 14c., from uncertain + -ty.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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16
19
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