certain

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See also: Certain and cèrtain

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English certeyn, certein, certain, borrowed from Old French certain, from a Vulgar Latin unattested form *certānus, extended form of Latin certus (fixed, resolved, certain), of the same origin as cretus, past participle of cernere (to separate, perceive, decide). Displaced native Middle English wis, iwis (certain, sure) (from Old English, ġewiss (certain, sure) and alternative Middle English spelling sertane (some, certain)

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

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certain (comparative more certain, superlative most certain)

  1. Sure, positive, not doubting.
    I was certain of my decision.
  2. (obsolete) Determined; resolved.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 8”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      However, I with thee have fixed my lot, / Certain to undergo like doom.
  3. Not to be doubted or denied; established as a fact.
  4. Actually existing; sure to happen; inevitable.
    Bankruptcy is the certain outcome of your constant gambling and lending.
  5. Unfailing; infallible.
    • (Can we date this quote by Mead and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      I have often wished that I knew as certain a remedy for any other distemper.
  6. Fixed or stated; regular; determinate.
  7. Known but not specifically named; indeterminate; indefinite; one or some; sometimes used independently as a noun, and meaning certain persons; see also "one".

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Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Determiner[edit]

certain

  1. Having been determined but not specified. The quality of some particular subject or object which is known by the speaker to have been specifically singled out among similar entities of its class.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 3, in The Mirror and the Lamp[1]:
      One saint's day in mid-term a certain newly appointed suffragan-bishop came to the school chapel, and there preached on “The Inner Life.”
    Certain people are good at running.

Translations[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

certain

  1. (with of) Unnamed or undescribed members (of).
    There were serious objections to certain of the proposals.
    • Bible, Acts xxiii. 12
      Certain of the Jews banded together.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (unnamed or undescribed members (of)): some

Noun[edit]

certain pl (plural only)

  1. (with "the") Something certain.
    • 2011, John Lyons, The Phantom of Chance: From Fortune to Randomness in Seventeenth-Century French Literature[2]:
      Thinking about the uncertain refines our perception of the certain, and generally this takes place in a framework in which the uncertain is the future and the certain is the present.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French certain, from Vulgar Latin unattested form *certānus, extended form of Latin certus (fixed, resolved, certain).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

certain (feminine singular certaine, masculine plural certains, feminine plural certaines)

  1. certain (sure, positive)
    Il est certain qu'il viendra.
    It is certain that he will arrive.
  2. certain (fixed, determined)
  3. certain (specified, particular)

Noun[edit]

certain m (plural certains)

  1. certain; certainty

Determiner[edit]

certain

  1. certain: a determined but unspecified amount of ; some
    Certaines personnes vont aller.
    Some people are going.

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Vulgar Latin *certānus, from Latin certus. Compare Old Italian and Old Spanish certano.

Adjective[edit]

certain m (oblique and nominative feminine singular certaine)

  1. certain; sure

Declension[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Middle English: certeyn
  • French: certain