Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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).
un•cer•tain•ty(ʌnˈsɜr tn ti)
n., pl. -ties.
See Also: FATE
- Accidental as life —Lord Shaftesbury
- 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.
- 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.”
- Indecision sent me forward and back, as if I were propelled by a piston in my back —Joan Hess
- 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.”
- Like children with a piece of ice … neither able to hold it nor willing to let it go —Plutarch
- Not quite sure of herself, like a new kitten in a house where they don’t care much about kittens —Raymond Chandler
- An obscure doubt brushed her, like a dove that wavers to a perch and is gone again without lighting —Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
- (He’d become about as) predictable as a Chinese earthquake —Joseph Wambaugh
- Predictable as a Tijuana dog race —Joseph Wambaugh
- Swing [uncertainly] like a hammock in the breeze —Anon
- Tentative as first taste of hot soup —Anon
- Tentative as a schoolgirl —Richard Ford
- Uncertain as the glory of an April day —William Shakespeare
- 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
- Uncertainty … as vertiginous as a lift descending down a bottomless shaft —Graham Masterton
- Up in the air, like jugglers in a freeze-frame —John Updike
|Noun||1.||uncertainty - 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"
|2.||uncertainty - the state of being unsure of something|
arriere pensee, mental reservation, reservation - an unstated doubt that prevents you from accepting something wholeheartedly
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"
unpredictability predictability, conclusiveness
doubt confidence, assurance, certainty, sureness
in view of this uncertainty or these uncertainties → teniendo en cuenta estas dudas or este grado de incertidumbre
there is uncertainty about the number of wounded → no se sabe con seguridad el número de heridos
stress is caused by uncertainty about the future → el estrés está causado por la incertidumbre or inseguridad sobre el futuro
uncertainty[ʌnˈsɜːrtənti] n → incertitude f
a period of political uncertainty → une période d'incertitude politique
uncertainty[ʌnˈsɜːtntɪ] n (of situation) → incertezza; (confusion) → dubbi mpl
the uncertainties of this life → le incognite della vita