certain

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English certain, certein, from Old French certain, from 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)

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

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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.
    • Milton
      However, I with thee have fixed my lot, / Certain to undergo like doom.
  3. Not to be doubted or denied; established as a fact.
    • Bible, Dan. ii. 45
      The dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
  4. Actually existing; sure to happen; inevitable.
    Bankruptcy is the certain outcome of your constant gambling and lending.
    • Dryden
      Virtue that directs our ways / Through certain dangers to uncertain praise.
    • Shakespeare
      Death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all.
  5. Unfailing; infallible.
    • Mead
      I have often wished that I knew as certain a remedy for any other distemper.
  6. Fixed or stated; regular; determinate.
    • Bible, Ex. xvi. 4
      The people go out and gather a certain rate every day.
  7. Not specifically named; indeterminate; indefinite; one or some; sometimes used independently as a noun, and meaning certain persons.
    • Bible, Luke v. 12
      It came to pass when he was in a certain city.
    • Macaulay
      About everything he wrote there was a certain natural grace and decorum.

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TranslationsEdit

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DeterminerEdit

certain

  1. Having been determined but unspecified. 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.
    • Bible, Acts xxiii. 12
      Certain of the Jews banded together.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 3, 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.

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FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

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

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

certain m (feminine 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)

NounEdit

certain m (plural certains)

  1. certain; certainty

Related termsEdit

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Old FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

certain

  1. certain; sure

SynonymsEdit

DeclensionEdit

DescendantsEdit

Last modified on 23 April 2014, at 17:23