English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English uncerteynte; equivalent to un- +‎ certainty or uncertain +‎ -ty.

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ʌnˈsɜːtənti/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ʌnˈsɝtənti/
  • (file)

Noun edit

uncertainty (countable and uncountable, plural uncertainties)

  1. (uncountable) Doubt; the condition of being uncertain or without conviction.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC, page 51:
      “Well,” I answered, at first with uncertainty, then with inspiration, “he would do splendidly to lead your cotillon, if you think of having one.” ¶ “So you do not dance, Mr. Crocker?” ¶ I was somewhat set back by her perspicuity.
    • 2012 April 9, Mandeep Sanghera, “Tottenham 1-2 Norwich”, in BBC Sport:
      After spending so much of the season looking upwards, the swashbuckling style and swagger of early season Spurs was replaced by uncertainty and frustration against a Norwich side who had the quality and verve to take advantage
    • 2018 May 17, “Corbynomics would change Britain—but not in the way most people think”, in The Economist[1]:
      Piecing together Corbynomics is difficult, not least because it has evolved during Mr Corbyn’s time in charge of Labour. The gulf between the Labour leadership’s past positions and the milder proposals in the manifesto means that enormous uncertainty hangs over what a Corbyn-led government would do in office.
  2. (countable) Something uncertain or ambiguous.
  3. (uncountable, mathematics) A parameter that measures the dispersion of a range of measured values.

Synonyms edit

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Translations edit

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Further reading edit