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certain Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. adjective satellite definite but not specified or identified
    • set aside a certain sum each week
    • to a certain degree
    • certain breeds do not make good pets
    • certain members have not paid their dues
    • a certain popular teacher
    • a certain Mrs. Jones
  2. adjective having or feeling no doubt or uncertainty; confident and assured
    • felt certain of success
    • was sure (or certain) she had seen it
    • was very sure in his beliefs
    • sure of her friends
  3. adjective established beyond doubt or question; definitely known
    • what is certain is that every effect must have a cause
    • it is certain that they were on the bus
    • his fate is certain
    • the date for the invasion is certain
  4. adjective certain to occur; destined or inevitable
    • he was certain to fail
    • his fate is certain
    • In this life nothing is certain but death and taxes"- Benjamin Franklin
    • he faced certain death
    • sudden but sure regret
    • he is sure to win
  5. adjective established irrevocably
    • his fate is sealed
  6. adjective satellite reliable in operation or effect
    • a quick and certain remedy
    • a sure way to distinguish the two
    • wood dust is a sure sign of termites
  7. adjective satellite exercising or taking care great enough to bring assurance
    • be certain to disconnect the iron when you are through
    • be sure to lock the doors

Cer"tain adjective
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.
  1. Assured in mind; having no doubts; free from suspicions concerning.
    To make her certain of the sad event. Dryden.
    I myself am certain of you. Wyclif.
  2. Determined; resolved; -- used with an infinitive.
    However, I with thee have fixed my lot, Certain to undergo like doom. Milton.
  3. Not to be doubted or denied; established as a fact.
    The dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. Dan. ii. 45.
  4. Actually existing; sure to happen; inevitable.
    Virtue that directs our ways Through certain dangers to uncertain praise. Dryden.
    Death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all. Shak.
  5. Unfailing; infallible.
    I have often wished that I knew as certain a remedy for any other distemper. Mead.
  6. Fixed or stated; regular; determinate.
    The people go out and gather a certain rate every day. Ex. xvi. 4.
  7. Not specifically named; indeterminate; indefinite; one or some; -- sometimes used independenty as a noun, and meaning certain persons.
    It came to pass when he was in a certain city. Luke. v. 12.
    About everything he wrote there was a certain natural grace und decorum. Macaulay.
    Syn. -- Bound; sure; true; undeniable; unquestionable; undoubted; plain; indubitable; indisputable; incontrovertible; unhesitating; undoubting; fixed; stated.
Cer"tain noun
  1. Certainty. Obs. Gower.
  2. A certain number or quantity. Obs. Chaucer.
Cer"tain adverb
  1. Certainly. Obs. Milton.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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