certain Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “certain” in the English Dictionary

"certain" in British English

See all translations

certainadjective

uk   /ˈsɜː.tən/  us   /ˈsɝː-/
  • certain adjective (WITHOUT DOUBT)

B1 having no ​doubt or ​knowingexactly that something is ​true, or ​known to be ​true, ​correct, ​exact, or ​effective: [+ (that)] Are you ​absolutely certain (that) you gave them the ​rightnumber? I feel certain (that) you're doing the ​right thing. You should make certain (that) everyone ​understands the ​instructions. The ​police seem certain (that) they will ​find the ​peopleresponsible for the ​attack. [+ question word] I'm not certain how much it will ​cost. He was ​quite certain about/of his attacker's ​identity. One thing is certain - she won't ​resignwillingly.know/say for certain C1 to ​know or say something without ​doubt: I don't ​know for certain if she's coming. I can't say for certain how ​long I'll be there.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • certain adjective (EXTREMELY LIKELY)

B1 impossible to ​avoid or ​extremelylikely: [+ to infinitive] The ​populationexplosion is certain tocausewidespreadfamine. Oil ​prices are certain torisefollowing the ​agreement to ​limitproduction. After all his hard ​work, he's certain topass his ​exams. The ​teamlooks almost certain towin the ​match. [+ (that)] It is ​virtually certain (that) she will ​win the ​goldmedal. Even if a ​ceasefire can be ​agreed, how can they make certain (that) neither ​sidebreaks it? Cancersufferers no ​longerface certain ​death as they ​once did. This ​scandal will ​mean certain ​defeat for the ​party in the ​election.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • certain adjective (NAMED)

[before noun] formal named but neither ​famousnorknown well: I had ​lunch today with a certain George Michael - not the George Michael, I should ​explain.

certaindeterminer

uk   /ˈsɜː.tən/  us   /ˈsɝː-/
B1 particular but not ​named or ​described: We have certain ​reasons for ​ourdecision, which have to ​remainconfidential. Do you ​thinkwar is ​justifiable in certain ​circumstances? Certain ​members of the ​audience may ​disagree with what I'm about to say.a certain B2 used before a ​noun when it is ​difficult to ​describe something ​exactly or give ​itsexactamount: The ​song has a certain ​appeal, but I'm not ​sure what it is.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

certainpronoun

uk   /ˈsɜː.tən/  us   /ˈsɝː-/ formal
(Definition of certain from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"certain" in American English

See all translations

certainadjective

 us   /ˈsɜr·tən/
  • 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 ​policereport is ​filled out (= ​check that this ​happens).
  • certain adjective (PARTICULAR)

particular but not named or ​described: Parents ​expecttheirkids to ​leavehome at a certain ​point.
  • certain adjective (LIMITED)

[not gradable] some but not ​exactlystated; ​limited: She ​enjoyssports to a certain ​extent. There’s a certain ​amount of ​exaggeration in all ​ads.
certain
pronoun  us   /ˈsɜrt·ən/
Charges were ​filed against certain of the company’s ​directors.
(Definition of certain from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"certain" in Business English

See all translations

certainadjective

uk   us   /ˈsɜːtən/
sum certain LAW a particular ​amount of ​moneystated in an ​agreement that cannot be ​changed: The $10 million ​price is ​sum certain.
(Definition of certain from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of certain?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

carnival

(a special occasion or period of) public enjoyment and entertainment involving wearing unusual clothes, dancing, and eating and drinking, usually held in the streets of a city

Word of the Day

Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
by Liz Walter,
February 03, 2016
My previous post (My leg hurts: Talking about illness (1)) presented some general vocabulary to use at the doctor’s. This one looks at some more specific areas of illness and explains some useful words and phrases that you may need to use or understand on a visit to the doctor’s. There are several

Read More 

awesomesauce noun
awesomesauce noun
February 01, 2016
slang the state of being extremely good or enjoyable or something or someone that is extremely good or enjoyable Recovering from the awesomesauce of another fab #Vidcon!!

Read More