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[sur-tuh-fahy] /ˈsɜr təˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), certified, certifying.
to attest as certain; give reliable information of; confirm:
He certified the truth of his claim.
to testify to or vouch for in writing:
The medical examiner will certify his findings to the court.
to guarantee; endorse reliably:
to certify a document with an official seal.
to guarantee (a check) by writing on its face that the account against which it is drawn has sufficient funds to pay it.
to award a certificate to (a person) attesting to the completion of a course of study or the passing of a qualifying examination.
to declare legally insane and committable to a mental institution.
Archaic. to assure or inform with certainty.
verb (used without object), certified, certifying.
to give assurance; testify; vouch for the validity of something (usually followed by to).
Origin of certify
1300-50; Middle English certifien < Middle French certifier < Late Latin certificāre, equivalent to Latin certi- (combining form of certus decided; see certain) + -ficāre -fy
Related forms
certifier, noun
precertify, verb (used with object), precertified, precertifying.
recertify, verb (used with object), recertified, recertifying.
uncertifying, adjective
1. corroborate, verify, validate, guarantee. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for certify
  • The repeal bill is written so that if any of the three don't certify it, it won't happen.
  • The agreement of these tallies would certify the election.
  • certify is apparently not mentioned at all, which makes me suspicious of the dating service's motives.
  • Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way to quantify and certify that someone has attained that level of intrinsic motivation.
  • Especially when the application programers will not certify the mainframe apps can handle duplicate time stamps.
  • He said that the city had in effect supplied no evidence at all and then simply ordered the city to certify the original results.
  • Tags will certify the origins and distribution of food and the authenticity of medicines.
  • They can protect consumers by having sites display payout ratios and by refusing to certify dodgy operators.
  • She then rejected the proffered justifications, insisting that she would certify the vote as it stands.
  • It also requires managers to certify the effectiveness and adequacy of internal controls in year-end filings.
British Dictionary definitions for certify


verb -fies, -fying, -fied
to confirm or attest (to), usually in writing: the letter certified her age
(transitive) to endorse or guarantee (that certain required standards have been met)
to give reliable information or assurances: he certified that it was Walter's handwriting
(transitive) to declare legally insane
(transitive) (US & Canadian) (of a bank) to state in writing on (a cheque) that payment is guaranteed
Derived Forms
certifier, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French certifier, from Medieval Latin certificāre to make certain, from Latin certuscertain + facere to make
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 certify

mid-14c., "to declare the truth of," also "to vouch for or confirm" (an official record, etc.), from Old French certefiier "make certain, witness the truth of" (12c.), from Late Latin certificare "to certify, to make certain," from Latin certus (see certain) + root of facere "to make, do" (see factitious). Also used in Middle English in broader senses of "inform, give notice; instruct, to direct; to designate." Related: Certified; certifying. Certified public accountant attested from 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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