[ noun ser-tif-i-kit; verb ser-tif-i-keyt ]
See synonyms for certificate on Thesaurus.com
  1. a document serving as evidence or as written testimony, as of status, qualifications, privileges, or the truth of something.

  2. a document attesting to the fact that a person has completed an educational course, issued either by an institution not authorized to grant diplomas, or to a student not qualifying for a diploma.

  1. Law. a statement, written and signed, which is by law made evidence of the truth of the facts stated, for all or for certain purposes.

  2. Finance.

verb (used with object),cer·tif·i·cat·ed, cer·tif·i·cat·ing.
  1. to furnish with or authorize by a certificate.

  2. to issue an official certificate attesting to the training, aptitude, and qualification of: to certificate a teacher.

Origin of certificate

1375–1425; late Middle English certificat<Medieval Latin certificātum, noun use of neuter of certificātus certified (past participle of certificāre), equivalent to certific- (see certify) + -ātus-ate1

Other words from certificate

  • cer·tif·i·ca·to·ry [ser-tif-uh-ki-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee], /sərˈtɪf ə kɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective
  • non·cer·tif·i·cat·ed, adjective
  • un·cer·tif·i·cat·ed, adjective

Words that may be confused with certificate

Words Nearby certificate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use certificate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for certificate


  1. an official document attesting the truth of the facts stated, as of birth, marital status, death, health, completion of an academic course, ability to practise a profession, etc

  1. (tr) to authorize by or present with an official document

Origin of certificate

C15: from Old French certificat, from certifier certify

Derived forms of certificate

  • certificatory, adjective

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