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n. pl. un·cer·tain·ties
1. The condition of being uncertain; doubt.
2. Something uncertain: the uncertainties of modern life.
3. Statistics The estimated amount or percentage by which an estimated or calculated value may differ from the true value.
Synonyms: uncertainty, doubt, dubiety, skepticism
These nouns refer to the condition of being unsure about someone or something. Uncertainty, the least forceful, merely denotes a lack of assurance or conviction: I regarded my decision with growing uncertainty.
Doubt and dubiety imply a questioning state of mind: "Doubt is part of all religion" (Isaac Bashevis Singer)."He is ... earnest, his earnestness seasoned with the proper amount of dubiety and humor" (Joseph Epstein).
Skepticism generally suggests an instinctive or habitual tendency to question and demand proof: "A wise skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic" (James Russell Lowell).


n, pl -ties
1. Also called: uncertainness the state or condition of being uncertain
2. an uncertain matter, contingency, etc


(ʌnˈsɜr tn ti)

n., pl. -ties.
1. the state of being uncertain; doubt; hesitancy.
2. an instance of doubt or hesitancy.
3. unpredictability; indefiniteness.



See Also: FATE

  1. Accidental as life —Lord Shaftesbury
  2. I am rather like a mosquito in a nudist camp; I know what I ought to do but I don’t know where to begin —Stephen Bayne

    Mr. Bayne’s comment was made in 1986 upon assuming a newly created job.

  3. Indecision is like the stepchild: if he doesn’t wash his hands, he is called

    dirty; if he does, he is wasting the water —Madagascan proverb Modern day psychologists have adopted this as a neurosis and labeled it a “double bind.”

  4. Indecision sent me forward and back, as if I were propelled by a piston in my back —Joan Hess
  5. Indecisive as a fellow who pulls back one leg as he moves forward with the other —Anon

    Probably inspired by this Arabic proverb: “He advances one leg and draws back the other.”

  6. Like children with a piece of ice … neither able to hold it nor willing to let it go —Plutarch
  7. Not quite sure of herself, like a new kitten in a house where they don’t care much about kittens —Raymond Chandler
  8. An obscure doubt brushed her, like a dove that wavers to a perch and is gone again without lighting —Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  9. (He’d become about as) predictable as a Chinese earthquake —Joseph Wambaugh
  10. Predictable as a Tijuana dog race —Joseph Wambaugh
  11. Swing [uncertainly] like a hammock in the breeze —Anon
  12. Tentative as first taste of hot soup —Anon
  13. Tentative as a schoolgirl —Richard Ford
  14. Uncertain as the glory of an April day —William Shakespeare
  15. Uncertain … like a golf ball hit by a new golfer, continually getting close to the hole-in-one, but only getting into it by a fluke —Anon
  16. Uncertainty … as vertiginous as a lift descending down a bottomless shaft —Graham Masterton
  17. Up in the air, like jugglers in a freeze-frame —John Updike
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.uncertainty - being unsettled or in doubt or dependent on chanceuncertainty - being unsettled or in doubt or dependent on chance; "the uncertainty of the outcome"; "the precariousness of his income"
quality - an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; "the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
doubt, doubtfulness, dubiousness, question - uncertainty about the truth or factuality or existence of something; "the dubiousness of his claim"; "there is no question about the validity of the enterprise"
indefiniteness, indefinity, indeterminacy, indeterminateness, indetermination - the quality of being vague and poorly defined
unpredictability - lacking predictability
improbability, improbableness - the quality of being improbable; "impossibility should never be confused with improbability"; "the improbability of such rare coincidences"
fortuitousness - the quality of happening accidentally and by lucky chance
speculativeness - the quality of being a conclusion or opinion based on supposition and conjecture rather than on fact or investigation; "her work is highly contentious because of its speculativeness and lack of supporting evidence"
sure thing, certainty, foregone conclusion - something that is certain; "his victory is a certainty"
2.uncertainty - the state of being unsure of somethinguncertainty - the state of being unsure of something
cognitive state, state of mind - the state of a person's cognitive processes
arriere pensee, mental reservation, reservation - an unstated doubt that prevents you from accepting something wholeheartedly
distrust, mistrust, suspicion, misgiving - doubt about someone's honesty
disbelief, incredulity, mental rejection, skepticism - doubt about the truth of something
indecision, indecisiveness, irresolution - doubt concerning two or more possible alternatives or courses of action; "his indecision was only momentary but the opportunity was lost"
peradventure - doubt or uncertainty as to whether something is the case; "this proves beyond peradventure that he is innocent"
suspense - an uncertain cognitive state; "the matter remained in suspense for several years"
certainty - the state of being certain; "his certainty reassured the others"


2. doubt, confusion, dilemma, misgiving, qualm, bewilderment, quandary, puzzlement, perplexity, mystification The magazine ignores all the uncertainties males currently face.
doubt confidence, assurance, certainty, sureness
3. hesitancy, hesitation, indecision, lack of confidence, vagueness, irresolution There was a hint of uncertainty in his voice.
4. unsureness, doubt, scepticism, ambivalence, disquiet, indecision, vagueness, hesitancy, vacillation, lack of conviction, irresolution, dubiety, doubtfulness There is genuine uncertainty about the party's future plans.


sự không chắc chắn


[ʌnˈsɜːtntɪ] N
1. (= doubt) → duda f, incertidumbre f
in view of this uncertainty or these uncertaintiesteniendo en cuenta estas dudas or este grado de incertidumbre
there is uncertainty about the number of woundedno se sabe con seguridad el número de heridos
stress is caused by uncertainty about the futureel estrés está causado por la incertidumbre or inseguridad sobre el futuro
2. (= indecision) → indecisión f
he heard the uncertainty in her voicenotó la indecisión en su voz


[ʌnˈsɜːrtənti] nincertitude f
a period of political uncertainty → une période d'incertitude politique


n (= state)Ungewissheit f; (= indefiniteness)Unbestimmtheit f; (= doubt)Zweifel m, → Unsicherheit f; in order to remove any uncertaintyum alle eventuellen Unklarheiten zu beseitigen; there is still some uncertainty as to whether …es besteht noch Ungewissheit, ob …


[ʌnˈsɜːtntɪ] n (of situation) → incertezza; (confusion) → dubbi mpl
the uncertainties of this life → le incognite della vita


عَدَمُ التَأَكُّد nejistota uvished Ungewissheit αβεβαιότητα incertidumbre epävarmuus incertitude neizvjesnost incertezza 不確実 불확실 onzekerheid usikkerhet niepewność incerteza неопределенность osäkerhet ความไม่แน่นอน belirsizlik sự không chắc chắn 无确定因素


n incertidumbre f
References in classic literature ?
Amid many uncertainties, this at least was clear, Mr.
When he can get to it--which depends on many uncertainties and incidents--he might see you in the street, he thinks, if you stood in a certain place that I can show you.
An irregular and mutable legislation is not more an evil in itself than it is odious to the people; and it may be pronounced with assurance that the people of this country, enlightened as they are with regard to the nature, and interested, as the great body of them are, in the effects of good government, will never be satisfied till some remedy be applied to the vicissitudes and uncertainties which characterize the State administrations.
These uncertainties of temper were accepted by Josette and Jacquelin as changes in the weather are accepted by husbandmen.
Once, very early in my career, it had totally failed me; since then I had been obliged on more than one occasion to double, and once, with infinite risk of death, to treble the amount; and these rare uncertainties had cast hitherto the sole shadow on my contentment.
While he was thus agitated by gloomy uncertainties, -- wretched waking dreams of grief, -- the first rays of morning pierced his windows, and shone upon the pale blue paper on which he had just inscribed his justification of providence.
So absolute is our soul's need of something hidden and uncertain for the maintenance of that doubt and hope and effort which are the breath of its life, that if the whole future were laid bare to us beyond to-day, the interest of all mankind would be bent on the hours that lie between; we should pant after the uncertainties of our one morning and our one afternoon; we should rush fiercely to the Exchange for our last possibility of speculation, of success, of disappointment: we should have a glut of political prophets foretelling a crisis or a no-crisis within the only twenty-four hours left open to prophecy.
For the usurer being at certainties, and others at uncertainties, at the end of the game, most of the money will be in the box; and ever a state flourisheth, when wealth is more equally spread.
I thought I often observed besides how right my guardian was in what he had said, and that the uncertainties and delays of the Chancery suit had imparted to his nature something of the careless spirit of a gamester who felt that he was part of a great gaming system.
We struck the tow-path at length, and that made us happy; because prior to this we had not been sure whether we were walking towards the river or away from it, and when you are tired and want to go to bed uncertainties like that worry you.
The red fire with its gently audible movement seemed like a solemn existence calmly independent of the petty passions, the imbecile desires, the straining after worthless uncertainties, which were daily moving her contempt.
From this class of uncertainties he exempts the difference between truth and appearance, of which he is absolutely convinced.