certain

I [[t]sɜ͟ː(r)t(ə)n[/t]] BEING SURE
♦♦♦
1) ADJ-GRADED: v-link ADJ, oft ADJ that/wh, ADJ of/about n If you are certain about something, you firmly believe it is true and have no doubt about it. If you are not certain about something, you do not have definite knowledge about it.

She's absolutely certain she's going to make it in the world...

We are not certain whether the appendix had already burst or not...

It wasn't a balloon - I'm certain of that.

Syn:
2) ADJ-GRADED: oft ADJ to-inf, it v-link ADJ that/wh, ADJ of n/-ing If you say that something is certain to happen, you mean that it will definitely happen.

However, the scheme is certain to meet opposition from fishermen's leaders...

It's not certain they'll accept the Front's candidate if he wins...

Brazil need to beat Uruguay to be certain of a place in the finals...

The Prime Minister is heading for certain defeat if he forces a vote...

Victory looked certain.

3) ADJ: v-link ADJ, oft it v-link ADJ that/wh If you say that something is certain, you firmly believe that it is true, or have definite knowledge about it.

One thing is certain, both have the utmost respect for each other...

It is certain that Rodney arrived the previous day..

4) ADJ-GRADED: ADJ n If you have certain knowledge, you know that a particular thing is true.

He had been there four times to my certain knowledge.

5) PHRASE: PHR with cl (not first in cl) If you know something for certain, you have no doubt at all about it.

She couldn't know what time he'd go, or even for certain that he'd go at all...

Hill had to find out for certain.

Syn:
for sure
6) PHRASE: V inflects If you make certain that something is the way you want or expect it to be, you take action to ensure that it is.

Firstly, they must make certain that their pension needs are adequately catered for...

To make extra certain, a police helicopter kept watch from the skies.

Syn:
make sure
II [[t]sɜ͟ː(r)t(ə)n[/t]] REFERRING AND INDICATING AMOUNT
♦♦
1) ADJ: det ADJ, ADJ n You use certain to indicate that you are referring to one particular thing, person, or group, although you are not saying exactly which it is.

There will be certain people who'll say `I told you so!'...

You owe a certain person a sum of money...

Leaflets have been air dropped telling people to leave certain areas.

2) QUANT: QUANT of def-pl-n When you refer to certain of a group of people or things, you are referring to some particular members of that group. [FORMAL]

They'll have to give up completely on certain of their studies.

Syn:
3) ADJ: a ADJ n-proper You can use a certain before the name of a person in order to indicate that you do not know the person or anything else about them.

She managed to arrange for them to be hidden in the house of a certain Father Boduen.

4) ADJ: a ADJ sing-n/n-uncount You use a certain to indicate that something such as a quality or condition exists, and often to suggest that it is not great in amount or degree.

That was the very reason why he felt a certain bitterness...

There is a certain impatience among some of the soldiers...

I received a certain amount of sympathy immediately after the attack.

Syn:

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • certain — certain, aine [ sɛrtɛ̃, ɛn ] adj. et pron. • certan 1160; lat. pop. °certanus, de certus « assuré » I ♦ Adj. A ♦ Après le nom 1 ♦ (Possibilité) (Sujet chose) Qui est effectif sans laisser aucun doute, perçu directement ou établi par des preuves,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • certain — certain, aine (sèr tin, tè n ) adj. 1°   Qui ne peut manquer, faillir, tromper, en parlant des choses. Ce qui est certain Il est certain que.... Je n oserais donner pour certain que.... Tenir pour certain. Un espoir certain de salut. Je le sais… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • certain — CERTAIN, AINE. adject. Indubitable, vrai. En ce sens il ne se dit que Des choses. Cela est certain. La nouvelle est certaine. Il est certain. On tient pour certain. Faire un rapport certain. J ai eu un avis certain que. ... f♛/b] En parlant Des… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Certain — Cer tain, a. [F. certain, fr. (assumed) LL. certanus, fr. L. certus determined, fixed, certain, orig. p. p. of cernere to perceive, decide, determine; akin to Gr. ? to decide, separate, and to E. concern, critic, crime, riddle a sieve, rinse, v.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • certain — et asseuré, Certus, Indubitatus. Certain de partir, Iam certus eundi. En certain temps, Rato tempore. Il est certain, Liquet, Certum, Non arbitrarium. Il n est rien si certain, Certo certius, B. ex Vlp. Pour certain, Nae, Nimirum, Plane, Verum… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • certain — CERTAIN, [cert]aine. adj. Asseuré, vray. Faire un rapport certain & assuré de quelque chose. des nouvelles certaines. On dit aussi, Estre certain de quelque chose, pour dire, En estre bien asseuré. Estes vous bien certain de cela? j en suis fort… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • certain — [sʉrt′ n] adj. [ME & OFr < VL * certanus < L certus, determined, fixed, orig. pp. of cernere, to distinguish, decide, orig., to sift, separate: see HARVEST] 1. fixed, settled, or determined 2. sure (to happen, etc.); inevitable 3. not to be …   English World dictionary

  • CERTAIN — CERTAIN, CERTITUDE.     Je suis certain; j ai des amis; ma fortune est sûre; mes parents ne m abandonneront jamais; on me rendra justice; mon ouvrage est bon, il sera bien reçu; on me doit, on me paiera; mon amant sera fidèle, il l a juré; le… …   Dictionnaire philosophique de Voltaire

  • certain — I (fixed) adjective absolute, assured, attested, certified, changeless, conclusive, confident, confirmed, decided, decisive, definite, determinate, determined, firm, guaranteed, incontestable, incontrovertible, indisputable, indubitable,… …   Law dictionary

  • certain — cer‧tain [ˈsɜːtn ǁ ˈsɜːrtn] adjective a sum certain LAW an amount of money that cannot be changed or have anything added to it: • a written order requiring the importer to pay a sum certain in the exporter s domestic currency * * * certain UK US… …   Financial and business terms

  • certain — adj 1 positive, *sure, cocksure Analogous words: *confident, assured, sanguine Antonyms: uncertain Contrasted words: *doubtful, dubious, questionable 2 Certain, inevitable, necessary are comparable when they mean bound to follow in obedience to… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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