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certain

[sur-tn] /ˈsɜr tn/
adjective
1.
free from doubt or reservation; confident; sure:
I am certain he will come.
2.
destined; sure to happen (usually followed by an infinitive):
He is certain to be there.
3.
inevitable; bound to come:
They realized then that war was certain.
4.
established as true or sure; unquestionable; indisputable:
It is certain that he tried.
5.
fixed; agreed upon; settled:
on a certain day; for a certain amount.
6.
definite or particular, but not named or specified:
A certain person phoned. He had a certain charm.
7.
that may be depended on; trustworthy; unfailing; reliable:
His aim was certain.
8.
some though not much:
a certain reluctance.
9.
Obsolete, steadfast.
pronoun
10.
certain ones:
Certain of the members declined the invitation.
Idioms
11.
for certain, without a doubt; surely:
I know for certain that I have seen that face before.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French < Vulgar Latin *certānus, equivalent to Latin cert(us) sure, settled (cer- base of cernere to decide, + -tus past participle suffix) + -ānus -an
Synonyms
1. convinced, satisfied. See sure. 4. indubitable, incontestable, irrefutable, incontrovertible, obvious, plain, clear. 5. determined.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for certain
  • And yet there is a certain amount of credit-claiming going on that does muddy the waters.
  • When reality is changing faster than theory suggests it should, a certain amount of nervousness is a reasonable response.
  • Military discounts are not valid on all sailings and may be limited to a certain number of cabins.
  • There's a certain amount of crumbing that occurs anyway.
  • Some recipes call for a mixture to be reduced by a certain amount.
  • Because you need the precursors, a certain amount of intelligence to do language.
  • The theory is unorthodox, but it does make a certain amount of sense.
  • But it has also offered volunteers a certain amount of control over their destiny, because they could always resign if they chose.
  • One might expect a certain amount of scholarly rejoicing.
  • It is quite valid, interesting and shows realistic chances of getting certain disease for my genotype.
British Dictionary definitions for certain

certain

/ˈsɜːtən/
adjective
1.
(postpositive) positive and confident about the truth of something; convinced: I am certain that he wrote a book
2.
(usually postpositive) definitely known: it is certain that they were on the bus
3.
(usually postpositive) sure; bound; destined: he was certain to fail
4.
decided or settled upon; fixed: the date is already certain for the invasion
5.
unfailing; reliable: his judgment is certain
6.
moderate or minimum: to a certain extent
7.
make certain of, to ensure (that one will get something); confirm
adverb
8.
for certain, definitely; without a doubt: he will win for certain
determiner
9.
  1. known but not specified or named: certain people may doubt this
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as plural): certain of the members have not paid their subscriptions
10.
named but not known: he had written to a certain Mrs Smith
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin certus sure, fixed, from cernere to discern, decide
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for certain
adj.

c.1300, "determined, fixed," from Old French certain "reliable, sure, assured" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *certanus, from Latin certus "sure, fixed, settled, determined" (also source of Italian certo, Spanish cierto), originally a variant past participle of cernere "to distinguish, decide," literally "to sift, separate" (see crisis).

Of persons, "full of confidence in one's knowledge or judgment," from mid-14c. Euphemistic use (of a certain age, etc.) attested from mid-18c. Certainer, certainest were common to c.1750, but have fallen from proper use for some reason. Expression for certain "assuredly" is attested by early 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with certain

certain

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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