- The definition of certain is being absolutely sure of something, or something you are confident about, or to identify someone ("that certain person") who isn't explicitly named.
- An example of certain is when you are confident that you let the dogs in earlier.
- An example of certain is how you would identify someone without his name even though everyone knows who you are talking about.
certain definition by Webster's New World
- fixed, settled, or determined
- sure (to happen, etc.); inevitable
- not to be doubted; unquestionable: certain evidence
- not failing; reliable; dependable: a certain cure
- controlled; unerring: his certain aim
- without any doubt; assured; sure; positive: certain of his innocence
- not named or described, though definite and perhaps known: a certain person
- some, but not very much; appreciable: to a certain extent
Origin: Middle English and amp; Old French ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form certanus ; from Classical Latin certus, determined, fixed, origin, originally past participle of cernere, to distinguish, decide, origin, originally , to sift, separate: see harvest
certain definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Definite; fixed: set aside a certain sum each week.
- Sure to come or happen; inevitable: certain success.
- Established beyond doubt or question; indisputable: What is certain is that every effect must have a cause.
- Capable of being relied on; dependable: a quick and certain remedy.
- Having or showing confidence; assured.
- a. Not specified or identified but assumed to be known: felt that certain breeds did not make good pets.b. Named but not known or previously mentioned: a certain Ms. Johnson.
- Perceptible; noticeable: a certain charm; a certain air of mystery.
- Not great; calculable: to a certain degree; a certain delay in the schedule.
Origin: Middle English, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *certānus, from Latin certus, past participle of cernere, to determine; see krei- in Indo-European roots.Usage Note: Although certain appears to be an absolute term, it is frequently qualified by adverbs, as in fairly certain or quite certain. In an earlier survey a majority of the Usage Panel accepted the construction Nothing could be more certain.
certain - Phrases/Idioms
of a certain age