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[uhn-sur-tn-tee] /ʌnˈsɜr tn ti/
noun, plural uncertainties for 2.
the state of being uncertain; doubt; hesitancy:
His uncertainty gave impetus to his inquiry.
an instance of uncertainty, doubt, etc.
unpredictability; indeterminacy; indefiniteness.
Origin of uncertainty
1350-1400; Middle English uncerteynte; see un-1, certainty
1. hesitation, irresolution, indecision, ambivalence. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for uncertainty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For two long days I was in uncertainty; at last Valetti appeared.

    The Severed Hand Wilhelm Hauff
  • The Street came decorously, albeit with a degree of uncertainty as to supper.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • On the whole, reflectively, she was in no uncertainty about the things that were wrong.

  • Then there had been the misery of terrible suspense, a wait of uncertainty.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Katharine looked round the room, conveying her uncertainty in her glance.

    Night and Day Virginia Woolf
British Dictionary definitions for uncertainty


noun (pl) -ties
Also called uncertainness. the state or condition of being uncertain
an uncertain matter, contingency, etc
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 uncertainty

late 14c., from uncertain + -ty.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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