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- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ʌnˈsɜːtn̩/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ʌnˈsɝtn̩/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)tən
- Not certain; unsure.
- 1664, John Tillotson, “Sermon I. The Wisdom of Being Religious. Job XXVIII. 28.”, in The Works of the Most Reverend Dr. John Tillotson, Late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury: […], 8th edition, London: […] T. Goodwin, B[enjamin] Tooke, and J. Pemberton, […]; J. Round […], and J[acob] Tonson] […], published 1720, →OCLC:
- Man, without the protection of a superior Being, […] is […] uncertain of everything that he hopes for.
- Not known for certain; questionable.
- Tomorrow's weather is uncertain.
- Not yet determined; undecided.
- Variable and subject to change.
- Fitful or unsteady.
- 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter III, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, →OCLC:
- Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
- Unpredictable or capricious.
- 1808 February 22, Walter Scott, “(please specify the introduction or canto number, or chapter name)”, in Marmion; a Tale of Flodden Field, Edinburgh: […] J[ames] Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Company, […]; London: William Miller, and John Murray, →OCLC:
- O woman! in our hours of ease, / Uncertain, coy, and hard to please!
not known for certain; questionable
not yet determined; undecided
variable and subject to change
fitful or unsteady
unpredictable or capricious
uncertain pl (plural only)
- (with "the") Something uncertain.
- 2011, John Lyons, The Phantom of Chance: From Fortune to Randomness in Seventeenth-Century French Literature:
- 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.