- free from doubt or reservation; confident; sure: I am certain he will come.
- destined; sure to happen (usually followed by an infinitive): He is certain to be there.
- inevitable; bound to come: They realized then that war was certain.
- established as true or sure; unquestionable; indisputable: It is certain that he tried.
- fixed; agreed upon; settled: on a certain day; for a certain amount.
- definite or particular, but not named or specified: A certain person phoned. He had a certain charm.
- that may be depended on; trustworthy; unfailing; reliable: His aim was certain.
- some though not much: a certain reluctance.
- Obsolete. steadfast.
- certain ones: Certain of the members declined the invitation.
- for certain, without a doubt; surely: I know for certain that I have seen that face before.
Origin of certain
SynonymsSee more synonyms for certain on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for certain
Certain features of its history suggest why this may be the case.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
Unlike the Soviet Union at a certain period in history, the Russian economy does not hold a candle to that of the United States.Oliver Stone’s Latest Dictator Suckup
January 5, 2015
I believe in the power of institutions—Congress, public policy, certain ideas about politics—that last for a long time.Thank Congress, Not LBJ for Great Society
Julian Zelizer, Scott Porch
January 4, 2015
And a certain presumed presidential candidate needs to be doing it, too.The Democrats’ Black Hole—and What They Can Do About It
December 31, 2014
Canned drinks like Mercy contain up 5,000 percent of the daily value of certain vitamins.History's Craziest Hangover Cures
December 30, 2014
Youth is prone to endow its opinions with all the dignity of certain knowledge.
Certain faculties develop in response to the pressure of environment.
But its prisoners were not exempt from its heat, like certain holy ones of old.
After all, there are certain things that you can't tell in too few words.
So certain was he as to the exact locality, that he offered to conduct a party to the place.Explorations in Australia
- (postpositive) positive and confident about the truth of something; convincedI am certain that he wrote a book
- (usually postpositive) definitely knownit is certain that they were on the bus
- (usually postpositive) sure; bound; destinedhe was certain to fail
- decided or settled upon; fixedthe date is already certain for the invasion
- unfailing; reliablehis judgment is certain
- moderate or minimumto a certain extent
- make certain of to ensure (that one will get something); confirm
- for certain definitely; without a doubthe will win for certain
- known but not specified or namedcertain people may doubt this
- (as pronoun; functioning as plural)certain of the members have not paid their subscriptions
- named but not knownhe had written to a certain Mrs Smith
Word Origin and History for certain
c.1300, "determined, fixed," from Old French certain "reliable, sure, assured" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *certanus, from Latin certus "sure, fixed, settled, determined" (also source of Italian certo, Spanish cierto), originally a variant past participle of cernere "to distinguish, decide," literally "to sift, separate" (see crisis).
Of persons, "full of confidence in one's knowledge or judgment," from mid-14c. Euphemistic use (of a certain age, etc.) attested from mid-18c. Certainer, certainest were common to c.1750, but have fallen from proper use for some reason. Expression for certain "assuredly" is attested by early 14c.
Idioms and Phrases with certain
see for certain.