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Related to making certain: in favor of, touch base, wreak havoc, came across


1. Definite; fixed: set aside a certain sum each week.
2. Sure to come or happen; inevitable: certain success.
3. Established beyond doubt or question; indisputable: What is certain is that every effect must have a cause.
4. Capable of being relied on; dependable: a quick and certain remedy.
5. Having or showing confidence; assured: I'm certain I left my keys in this room.
a. Not specified or identified but assumed to be known: felt that certain breeds did not make good pets.
b. Named but not known or previously mentioned: a certain Ms. Johnson.
7. Perceptible; noticeable: a certain charm; a certain air of mystery.
8. Not great; calculable: to a certain degree; a certain delay in the schedule.
An indefinite but limited number; some: Certain of the products are faulty.
for certain
Without doubt; definitely.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *certānus, from Latin certus, past participle of cernere, to determine; see krei- in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: certain, inescapable, inevitable, sure, unavoidable
These adjectives mean impossible to avoid or evade: soldiers who knew they faced certain death; facts that led to an inescapable conclusion; an inevitable result; sudden but sure retribution; an unavoidable accident. See Also Synonyms at sure.
Usage Note: It is often claimed that certain is an absolute term like unanimous or paramount and cannot be modified; something is either certain or it is not. However, a majority of the Usage Panel accepted the construction Nothing could be more certain as early as 1965, and phrases such as fairly certain and quite certain are readily understood as expressing varying degrees of confidence, especially when they refer to a person. Phrases in which certain is modified can be quite effective, as the following example from Susan Orlean shows: "The [taxidermic] piece was precise and lovely, almost haunting, since the more you looked at it the more certain you were that the birds would just stop building their nest, spread their wings, and fly away." Note that since certain must always suggest overall confidence, its range is restricted to the upper range; one is less likely to be slightly, somewhat, or a little bit certain, for example.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (postpositive) positive and confident about the truth of something; convinced: I am certain that he wrote a book.
2. (usually postpositive) definitely known: it is certain that they were on the bus.
3. (usually postpositive) sure; bound; destined: he was certain to fail.
4. decided or settled upon; fixed: the date is already certain for the invasion.
5. unfailing; reliable: his judgment is certain.
6. moderate or minimum: to a certain extent.
7. make certain of to ensure (that one will get something); confirm
for certain definitely; without a doubt: he will win for certain.
a. known but not specified or named: certain people may doubt this.
b. (as pronoun; functioning as plural): certain of the members have not paid their subscriptions.
9. named but not known: he had written to a certain Mrs Smith.
[C13: from Old French, from Latin certus sure, fixed, from cernere to discern, decide]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈsɜr tn)

1. free from doubt or reservation; confident.
2. destined; sure to happen: She is certain to be there.
3. inevitable; bound to come: Death and taxes are certain.
4. established as true or sure; indisputable: It is certain that you tried.
5. fixed; agreed upon; settled: for a certain amount.
6. definite or particular, but not named or specified: A certain person phoned.
7. trustworthy; unfailing; reliable: His aim was certain.
8. some though not much: a certain reluctance.
9. Obs. steadfast.
10. certain ones: Certain of the members abstained.
for certain, certainly; for sure.
[1250–1300; Middle English < Old French < Vulgar Latin *certānus= Latin cert(us) sure, settled (derivative of cernere to sift, decide; compare discrete) + -ānus -an1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. having no doubts

If you are certain or sure about something, you have no doubts about it.

He felt certain that she would disapprove.
I'm sure she's right.
2. definite truths

If it is certain that something is true, it is definitely true. If it is certain that something will happen, it will definitely happen.

It is certain that he did not ask for the original of the portrait.
It seemed certain that they would succeed.

Be Careful!
Don't say that it is 'sure' that something is true or will happen.

3. 'be certain to' and 'be sure to'

Instead of saying that it is certain that someone or something will do something, you can say that they are certain to do it or are sure to do it.

I'm waiting for Cynthia. She's certain to be late.
The growth in demand is certain to drive up the price.
These fears are sure to go away as the baby gets older.
The telephone stopped ringing. 'It's sure to ring again,' Halle said.

Instead of saying that it is certain that someone will be able to do something, you often say that they can be certain of doing it or can be sure of doing it.

I chose this hospital so I could be certain of having the best care possible.
You can always be sure of controlling one thing -- the strength with which you hit the ball.
4. emphasis

Don't use words such as 'very' or 'extremely' in front of certain or sure. If you want to emphasize that someone has no doubts or that something is true, you use words such as absolutely and completely.

We are not yet absolutely certain that this report is true.
Whether it was directed at Eddie or me, I couldn't be completely certain.
Can you be absolutely sure that a murder has been committed?
She felt completely sure that she was pregnant.
5. negative structures

Sure is more common that 'certain' in negative structures.

'Are you going to the party tonight?' – 'I'm not sure. Are you?'
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.certain - definite but not specified or identified; "set aside a certain sum each week"; "to a certain degree"; "certain breeds do not make good pets"; "certain members have not paid their dues"; "a certain popular teacher"; "a certain Mrs. Jones"
definite - precise; explicit and clearly defined; "I want a definite answer"; "a definite statement of the terms of the will"; "a definite amount"; "definite restrictions on the sale of alcohol"; "the wedding date is now definite"; "a definite drop in attendance"
2.certain - having or feeling no doubt or uncertainty; confident and assured; "felt certain of success"; "was sure (or certain) she had seen it"; "was very sure in his beliefs"; "sure of her friends"
incertain, uncertain, unsure - lacking or indicating lack of confidence or assurance; "uncertain of his convictions"; "unsure of himself and his future"; "moving with uncertain (or unsure) steps"; "an uncertain smile"; "touched the ornaments with uncertain fingers"
3.certain - established beyond doubt or question; definitely known; "what is certain is that every effect must have a cause"; "it is certain that they were on the bus"; "his fate is certain"; "the date for the invasion is certain"
uncertain - not established beyond doubt; still undecided or unknown; "an uncertain future"; "a manuscript of uncertain origin"; "plans are still uncertain"; "changes of great if uncertain consequences"; "without further evidence his story must remain uncertain"
4.certain - certain to occur; destined or inevitable; "he was certain to fail"; "his fate is certain"; "In this life nothing is certain but death and taxes"- Benjamin Franklin; "he faced certain death"; "sudden but sure regret"; "he is sure to win"
predictable - capable of being foretold
uncertain - not certain to occur; not inevitable; "everything is uncertain about the army"; "the issue is uncertain"
5.certain - established irrevocably; "his fate is sealed"
6.certain - reliable in operation or effect; "a quick and certain remedy"; "a sure way to distinguish the two"; "wood dust is a sure sign of termites"
dependable, reliable - worthy of reliance or trust; "a reliable source of information"; "a dependable worker"
7.certain - exercising or taking care great enough to bring assurance; "be certain to disconnect the iron when you are through"; "be sure to lock the doors"
careful - exercising caution or showing care or attention; "they were careful when crossing the busy street"; "be careful to keep her shoes clean"; "did very careful research"; "careful art restorers"; "careful of the rights of others"; "careful about one's behavior"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. sure, convinced, positive, confident, satisfied, assured, free from doubt She's absolutely certain she's going to make it as a singer.
sure uncertain, doubtful, dubious, unsure, undecided, unconvinced
2. bound, sure, fated, destined They say he's certain to get a nomination for best supporting actor.
bound unlikely
3. inevitable, unavoidable, inescapable, inexorable, ineluctable They intervened to save him from certain death.
5. fixed, decided, established, settled, definite He has to pay a certain sum in child support every month.
fixed unsettled, indefinite
6. particular, special, individual, specific A certain person has been looking for you.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. In a definite and final form; not likely to change:
2. Bound to happen:
4. Known positively:
Idiom: for certain.
5. Such as could not possibly fail or disappoint:
Informal: sure-fire.
6. Having no doubt:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
مُؤَكَّدمُتَأَكِّدمحدّدمعيّن، ماقَليل
einhver, nokkurtiltekinn, viss, ákveîinnviss, nokkurviss, öruggur
įsitikinęskažkokskažkurisneabejotinas dalykaspasitikrinti
chắc chắn


1. (= convinced) to be certain [person] → estar seguro
I'm certain he's hiding somethingestoy seguro de que está ocultando algo
to be certain about sthestar seguro de algo
to feel certainestar seguro
to be certain of sthestar seguro de algo
I am certain of itestoy seguro de ello
you don't sound very certainno pareces estar muy seguro
2. (= sure)
for certain I can't say for certainno puedo decirlo con seguridad or a ciencia cierta
we don't know for certain what caused the accidentno sabemos con seguridad or a ciencia cierta lo que causó el accidente
he's up to something, that's for certaintrama algo, de eso no hay duda or eso es seguro
to make certain of sthasegurarse de algo
you should make certain of your factsdebes asegurarte de que los datos son ciertos
to make certain thatasegurarse de que
I wanted to make absolutely certain that this was the right numberquería asegurarme del todo de que este número era el correcto
I made certain that he kept his promiseme aseguré de que cumpliese su promesa
3. (= definite, guaranteed) [defeat, death, winner] → seguro; [cure] → definitivo; [fact] → cierto, seguro
one thing is certainuna cosa es segura ...
it is certain thates seguro que ...
it's almost certain that her husband is deades casi seguro que or se tiene la casi completa seguridad de que su marido está muerto
the hospital is facing almost certain closureel hospital se enfrenta al cierre casi inevitable
it is far from certain that they can win this electionno es ni mucho menos seguro or no está nada claro que puedan ganar estas elecciones
he has been there four times to my certain knowledgeme consta que or sé con certeza que ha estado allí cuatro veces
in the certain knowledge thatcon la seguridad or certeza de que ...
nothing's certain in this worldno hay nada seguro en este mundo
4. + INFIN be certain to tell herno dejes or olvides de decírselo
he is certain to be there(es) seguro que estará allí
there's certain to be an argumentcon seguridad se producirá una discusión; (less formal) → seguro que habrá una discusión
there's certain to be strong opposition to these proposalsestá garantizado que estas propuestas se enfrentarán a una fuerte oposición
the plans are almost certain to go aheadlos planes se llevarán a cabo casi con toda seguridad
5. (= particular) → cierto
on a certain day in Maycierto día de mayo
a certain Mr/Mrs Smithun tal Señor/una tal Señora Smith
of a certain agede cierta edad
in certain circumstancesen ciertas or determinadas circunstancias
a certain number of people/yearsun cierto número de personas/años
a certain person told me thatcierta persona me dijo que ...
she has a certain somethingtiene algo or un no sé qué
at certain times of the day/month/yearen ciertos momentos del día/ciertos días del mes/ciertas épocas del año
6. (= slight) [impatience, bitterness, courage] → cierto
there's a certain amount of confusion about the arrangementsexiste una cierta confusión or un cierto grado de confusión sobre los preparativos
to a certain degree or extenthasta cierto punto
B. PRON (frm) → ciertos/as mpl/fpl, algunos/as mpl/fpl
certain of our leadersciertos líderes nuestros, algunos de nuestros líderes
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈsɜːrtən] adj
(= sure) → certain(e)
I'm absolutely certain it was him → Je suis absolument certain que c'était lui.
to be certain of sth → être certain(e) de qch
to know for certain → savoir à coup sûr
I don't know for certain → Je n'en suis pas certain.
to feel certain that → être certain que
to make certain that → s'assurer que
I made certain the door was locked → Je me suis assuré que la porte était fermée à clé.
to make certain of → s'assurer de
(= particular) [place, person] → certain(e); [coldness, pleasure, distinction] → certain(e)
certain days → certains jours
certain places → certains endroits
a certain person → une certaine personne
a certain Mr Smith → un certain M. Smith
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= positive, convinced)sicher; (= inevitable, guaranteed)bestimmt, gewiss; are you certain of or about that?sind Sie sich (dat)dessen sicher?; is he certain?weiß er das genau?; there’s no certain cure for this disease/for inflationfür or gegen diese Krankheit/gegen die Inflation gibt es kein sicheres Mittel; for certainganz sicher, ganz genau; I don’t know for certain, but I think …ich bin mir nicht ganz sicher, aber ich glaube; I can’t say for certainich kann das nicht genau or mit Sicherheit sagen; he is certain to comeer wird ganz bestimmt or gewiss kommen; we are certain to succeedwir werden ganz bestimmt Erfolg haben; to make certain of something (= check)sich einer Sache (gen)vergewissern, etw nachprüfen; (= ensure)für etw sorgen; to make certain of a seatsich (dat)einen Platz sichern; will you please make certain?vergewissern Sie sich bitte noch einmal; be certain to tell himvergessen Sie bitte nicht, ihm das zu sagen; there is certain to be strong opposition to the proposales wird sicher starken Widerstand gegen den Vorschlag geben; that was certain to happendas musste ja so kommen; to my certain knowledgeich bin mir ganz sicher
attr (= not named or specified)gewiss; reason, conditionsbestimmt; a certain gentlemanein gewisser Herr; to a certain extent or degreein gewisser Hinsicht, zu einem bestimmten Grade; of a certain agein einem gewissen Alter
proneinige; certain of you/themeinige von euch/ihnen
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈsɜːtən] adj
a. (sure) → certo/a, sicuro/a; (inevitable, death, success) → sicuro/a; (cure) → infallibile, garantito/a
he's certain to leave his job → è certo che lui lascerà il lavoro
it is certain that ... → è certo che...
I am certain of it → ne sono certo
he is certain to be there → lui ci sarà certamente
for certain → per certo, di sicuro
I can't say for certain that ... → non posso dire con certezza che...
be certain to tell her → ricordati or non dimenticarti di dirglielo
to make certain of sth → accertarsi di qc
b. (before n, particular) → certo/a
a certain gentleman called → ha telefonato un certo signore
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈsəːtn) adjective
1. true or without doubt. It's certain that the world is round.
2. sure. I'm certain he'll come; He is certain to forget; Being late is a certain way of losing one's job.
3. one or some, not definitely named. certain doctors; a certain Mrs Smith; (also pronoun) certain of his friends.
4. slight; some. a certain hostility in his manner; a certain amount.
ˈcertainly adverb
1. definitely. I can't come today, but I'll certainly come tomorrow.
2. of course. You may certainly have a chocolate.
of course. `May I borrow your typewriter?' `Certainly!'; `Certainly not!'
ˈcertaintyplural ˈcertainties noun
1. something which cannot be doubted. It's a certainty that he will win.
2. freedom from doubt. Is there any certainty of success?
for certain
definitely. She may come but she can't say for certain.
make certain
to act so that, or check that, something is sure. Make certain you arrive early; I think he's dead but you'd better make certain.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مُؤَكَّد jistý sikker sicher σίγουρος cierto, seguro varma certain siguran certo 確信している 확신하는 zeker sikker pewny certo уверенный säker แน่นอน kesin chắc chắn 确定的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


a. cierto-a; seguro-a;
adv. ciertamente, seguramente;
to be ___estar seguro-a; -ty certeza.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
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