not definitely ascertainable or fixed, as in time of occurrence, number, dimensions, or quality.
not confident, assured, or free from hesitancy: an uncertain smile.
not clearly or precisely determined; indefinite; unknown: a manuscript of uncertain origin.
vague; indistinct; not perfectly apprehended: an abstruse novel with uncertain themes.
subject to change; variable; capricious; unstable: a person of uncertain opinions.
ambiguous; unreliable; undependable: Her loyalties are uncertain.
dependent on chance or unpredictable factors; doubtful; of unforeseeable outcome or effect.
unsteady or flickering, as light; of changing intensity or quality.
- un·cer·tain·ly, adverb
- un·cer·tain·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use uncertain in a sentence
It is uncertain what the year ahead holds, but it is likely that following the pandemic the “staycation” will become more popular.Cities Are Falling Short on Coastal Access – and Short-Term Rentals Could Help | Philip King and Sarah Jenkins | November 16, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
As points of contact between mathematics and reality, particles straddle both worlds with an uncertain footing.
In that sense, Cat-Su Sando serves as a test ground for what might come next in an uncertain market.Ghost Kitchens Are the Wave of the Future. But Is That a Good Thing? | Kristen Hawley | November 9, 2020 | Eater
She studied it briefly then looked at me as if uncertain what to do next.To take control of your career, ask for what you want—directly and explicitly | matthewheimer | November 8, 2020 | Fortune
This is great news for yet-private startups that have had to deal with a recession, an uneven and at-times uncertain funding market, an election cycle and other unknowns this year.Software companies are reporting a pretty good third quarter | Alex Wilhelm | November 6, 2020 | TechCrunch
And the Ukrainian army, slowly, uncertainly, but ineluctably, is closing in on this besieged ghost-town of a city.
He seemed so at ease with the people there, and they with him, that I asked uncertainly where he came from.
The result was an extra month of uncertainly that impeded an already volatile hiring market.
When her husband died in a suicide, she stumbled uncertainly at first.
“Everybody brags on being the most aggrieved,” the mayor explained as he settled uncertainly onto the edge of the sofa table.
When they reached the house Betty started to knock, then paused uncertainly, her hand uplifted.The Outdoor Girls in the Saddle | Laura Lee Hope
Muttering curses, and swaying uncertainly on his feet, Talpers seized his hat and rushed from the house.Mystery Ranch | Arthur Chapman
The answer seemed to break up the order of his prearranged consolations, and he sat looking at her uncertainly.Summer | Edith Wharton
Someone thrust her out of the door with others, and she began to step aimlessly, uncertainly, along the broad street.Blazed Trail Stories | Stewart Edward White
He assumed the upright posture, and standing uncertainly for a few seconds, fixed his eyes on the prisoner.The Young Ranchers | Edward S. Ellis
British Dictionary definitions for uncertain
not able to be accurately known or predicted: the issue is uncertain
(when postpositive, often foll by of) not sure or confident (about): a man of uncertain opinion
not precisely determined, established, or decided: uncertain plans
not to be depended upon; unreliable: an uncertain vote
liable to variation; changeable: the weather is uncertain
in no uncertain terms
- uncertainly, adverb
- uncertainness, noun
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with uncertain
see in no uncertain terms.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.