uncertainty


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Related to uncertainty: uncertainty principle

un·cer·tain·ty

 (ŭn-sûr′tn-tē)
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).

uncertainty

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

un•cer•tain•ty

(ʌnˈsɜr tn ti)

n., pl. -ties.
1. the state of being uncertain; doubt; hesitancy.
2. an instance of doubt or hesitancy.
3. unpredictability; indefiniteness.
[1350–1400]

Uncertainty

 

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"

uncertainty

noun
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.

uncertainty

noun
Translations
nejistota
uvished
epävarmuus
neizvjesnost
不確実
불확실
negotovost
osäkerhet
ความไม่แน่นอน
sự không chắc chắn

uncertainty

[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

uncertainty

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

uncertainty

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 …

uncertainty

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

uncertainty

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

uncertainty

n incertidumbre f
References in classic literature ?
Astor to Captain Sowle, the commander of the Beaver, were, in some respects, hypothetical, in consequence of the uncertainty resting upon the previous steps of the enterprise.
A nervous uncertainty in the eye on the same side narrowly escaped presenting the deformity of a "cast.
Lecount had not only established herself at Zurich, but (wisely mindful of the uncertainty of life) had also settled the charitable uses to which her fortune was to be applied after her death.
But in spite of this caution, Vronsky often saw the child's intent, bewildered glance fixed upon him, and a strange shyness, uncertainty, at one time friendliness, at another, coldness and reserve, in the boy's manner to him; as though the child felt that between this man and his mother there existed some important bond, the significance of which he could not understand.
Things like his mother's death, his departure from Winesburg, the uncertainty of his future life in the city, the seri- ous and larger aspects of his life did not come into his mind.
I think that is good advice to follow," put in Tom, "for we do need our goods; and if we reached the settlement ourselves, we would have to send back for our things, with the uncertainty of getting them all.
Whatever may be the truth, as respects the root and the genius of the Indian tongues, it is quite certain they are now so distinct in their words as to possess most of the disadvantages of strange languages; hence much of the embarrassment that has arisen in learning their histories, and most of the uncertainty which exists in their traditions.
At first the talk was a little gloomy, and ran mainly upon the shortness of life, the uncertainty of it, the perils which beset it, and the need and wisdom of being always prepared for the worst; this shaded off into low-voiced references to the dangers of the deep, and kindred matters; but as the gray east began to redden and the mysterious solemnity and silence of the dawn to give place to the joy-songs of the birds, the talk took a cheerier tone, and our spirits began to rise steadily.
Knightley, and really able to accept another man from unbiased inclination, it was not long that she had to suffer from the recurrence of any such uncertainty.
We plied along the coast in this uncertainty two days, till on the first of March having doubled a point of land, which came out a great way into the sea, we found ourselves in the middle of a fair large bay, which many reasons induced us to think was Baylur; that we might be farther assured we sent our Abyssin on shore, who returning next morning confirmed our opinion.
My memory of the Law, of the two dead sailors, of the ambuscades of the darkness, of the body in the canebrake, haunted me; and, unnatural as it seems, with my return to mankind came, instead of that confidence and sympathy I had expected, a strange enhancement of the uncertainty and dread I had experienced during my stay upon the island.
And now, my dear auditors, I must confess that there are contradictory statements and some uncertainty about the adventures of the chair for a period of almost ten years.