Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “certain”

See all translations

certain

adjective  /ˈsɜr·tən/ us  

certain adjective (KNOWING TO BE TRUE)

knowing that something is true or will happen and having no cause to feel that it may not be true or may not happen; having no doubt: "I think Emily is going to pick up Judy." "Are you certain?" One thing is certain – supporters of the bill are not giving up. [+ (that) clause] I’m certain (that) he’ll be there. [+ question word] I’m not certain how much it will cost. When you report a robbery, make certain a police report is filled out (= check that this happens).

certain adjective (PARTICULAR)

particular but not named or described: Parents expect their kids to leave home at a certain point.

certain adjective (LIMITED)

[not gradable] some but not exactly stated; limited: She enjoys sports to a certain extent. There’s a certain amount of exaggeration in all ads.
certain
pronoun  /ˈsɜrt·ən/ us  
Charges were filed against certain of the company’s directors.
(Definition of certain from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of certain?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “certain” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

work out

to exercise in order to improve the strength or appearance of your body

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

bio-inspiration noun

April 13, 2015
the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc. The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

Read More