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verb (used with object), cer·ti·fied, cer·ti·fy·ing.
  1. to attest as certain; give reliable information of; confirm: He certified the truth of his claim.
  2. to testify to or vouch for in writing: The medical examiner will certify his findings to the court.
  3. to guarantee; endorse reliably: to certify a document with an official seal.
  4. to guarantee (a check) by writing on its face that the account against which it is drawn has sufficient funds to pay it.
  5. to award a certificate to (a person) attesting to the completion of a course of study or the passing of a qualifying examination.
  6. to declare legally insane and committable to a mental institution.
  7. Archaic. to assure or inform with certainty.
verb (used without object), cer·ti·fied, cer·ti·fy·ing.
  1. to give assurance; testify; vouch for the validity of something (usually followed by to).

Origin of certify

1300–50; Middle English certifien < Middle French certifier < Late Latin certificāre, equivalent to Latin certi- (combining form of certus decided; see certain) + -ficāre -fy
Related formscer·ti·fi·er, nounpre·cer·ti·fy, verb (used with object), pre·cer·ti·fied, pre·cer·ti·fy·ing.re·cer·ti·fy, verb (used with object), re·cer·ti·fied, re·cer·ti·fy·ing.un·cer·ti·fy·ing, adjective

Synonyms for certify

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for certify

Contemporary Examples of certify

Historical Examples of certify

  • "That he is actually off by the train to London, I can certify," was the reply of Hamish.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • We could procure that telegram from Port Arthur, and we could get the landlord to certify to his story.

  • Should not we cautiously open it, Captain, and certify ourselves what is therein?

    Standish of Standish

    Jane G. Austin

  • I have only to get two doctors to certify to the fact of his insanity, and the deed is done.

  • An invoice of his goods was presented to the agent, who had to certify to its correctness.

    Old Fort Snelling

    Marcus L. Hansen

British Dictionary definitions for certify


verb -fies, -fying or -fied
  1. to confirm or attest (to), usually in writingthe letter certified her age
  2. (tr) to endorse or guarantee (that certain required standards have been met)
  3. to give reliable information or assuranceshe certified that it was Walter's handwriting
  4. (tr) to declare legally insane
  5. (tr) US and Canadian (of a bank) to state in writing on (a cheque) that payment is guaranteed
Derived Formscertifier, noun

Word Origin for certify

C14: from Old French certifier, from Medieval Latin certificāre to make certain, from Latin certus certain + facere to make
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

Word Origin and History for certify

mid-14c., "to declare the truth of," also "to vouch for or confirm" (an official record, etc.), from Old French certefiier "make certain, witness the truth of" (12c.), from Late Latin certificare "to certify, to make certain," from Latin certus (see certain) + root of facere "to make, do" (see factitious). Also used in Middle English in broader senses of "inform, give notice; instruct, to direct; to designate." Related: Certified; certifying. Certified public accountant attested from 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper