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[sur-tn-tee] /ˈsɜr tn ti/
noun, plural certainties.
the state of being certain.
something certain; an assured fact.
for / of a certainty, certainly; without a doubt:
I suspect it, but I don't know it for a certainty.
Origin of certainty
1250-1300; Middle English certeinte < Anglo-French, equivalent to certein certain + -te -ty2
Related forms
noncertainty, noun, plural noncertainties.
Can be confused
certainty, certitude.
1. certitude, assurance, confidence. See belief. 2. truth. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for certainty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Perhaps he was a little ashamed of his own certainty; but at all events he was subdued and silent, refraining almost from thought.

    The Wizard's Son, vol. 3 Margaret Oliphant
  • It was difficult to state with certainty what bad deed she had ever done, or what good deed.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • But for his certainty that the men were deaf, or nearly so, Merriwell would not have indulged in even this whispered conversation.

    Frank Merriwell's Reward Burt L. Standish
  • Mary's voice came with a certainty of conviction born of fact.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Not in proofs by formal logic but in the reality of consciousness was the certainty of God.

British Dictionary definitions for certainty


noun (pl) -ties
the condition of being certain
something established as certain or inevitable
for a certainty, without doubt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for certainty

c.1300, certeynte, "surety, pledge," from Anglo-French certeinté (late 13c.), Old French certainete "certainty," from Latin or Vulgar Latin *certanitatem (source of Old Spanish certanedad); see certain. Meaning "that which is certain" is attested from early 14c.; meaning "quality of being certain" is from mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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