cer|tain1 W1S1 [ˈsə:tn US ˈsə:r-] adj
[Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: Vulgar Latin certanus, from Latin certus 'decided, certain', from cernere 'to sift, decide']
1.) [not before noun]
confident and sure, without any doubts
= ↑sure certain (that)
I'm absolutely certain that I left the keys in the kitchen.
I felt certain that I'd passed the test.
certain who/what/how etc
I'm not certain when it will be ready.
certain about/of
Now, are you certain about that?
They were watching him. He was certain of it.
2.) if something is certain, it will definitely happen or is definitely true
It now seems certain that there will be an election in May.
Many people look certain to lose their jobs.
It is wise to apply early to be certain of obtaining a place.
It's not certain where he lived.
His re-election was considered virtually certain .
It is by no means certain that the deal will be accepted.
If they stayed in the war zone they would face certain death .
3.) make certain
a) to check that something is correct or true
= ↑make sure make certain (that)
We need to make certain that it's going to fit first.
b) to do something in order to be sure that something will happen
= ↑make sure make certain (that)
Secure the edges firmly to make certain that no moisture can get in.
4.) for certain
without doubt
= ↑for sure
know/say (sth) for certain
I know for certain it's in here somewhere.
that's/one thing's for certain
One thing's for certain, he won't be back.
5.) [only before noun]
used to talk about a particular person, thing, group of things etc without naming them or describing them exactly
The library's only open at certain times of day.
I promised to be in a certain place by lunchtime.
There are certain things I just can't discuss with my mother.
certain kind/type/sort
the expectation of a certain kind of behaviour
in certain circumstances/cases etc
Extra funding may be available in certain circumstances.
6.) a certain
a) used to say that an amount is not great
You may need to do a certain amount of work in the evenings.
to a certain extent/degree
(=partly, but not completely)
I do agree with his ideas to a certain extent.
b) enough of a particular quality to be noticed
There's a certain prestige about going to a private school.
c) formal used to talk about someone you do not know but whose name you have been told
a certain Mr Franks
COLLOCATES for sense 2
it is/seems certain (that)
be/appear/look/seem certain to do something
be certain of (doing) something
it is not certain whether/how etc
almost/virtually/practically certain
fairly certain
by no means certain/far from certain (=not definite)
certain death
certain 2
certain2 pron
certain of sb/sth
formal particular people or things in a group
Certain of the payments were made on Mr Maxwell's authority.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • certain — certain, aine [ sɛrtɛ̃, ɛn ] adj. et pron. • certan 1160; lat. pop. °certanus, de certus « assuré » I ♦ Adj. A ♦ Après le nom 1 ♦ (Possibilité) (Sujet chose) Qui est effectif sans laisser aucun doute, perçu directement ou établi par des preuves,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • certain — certain, aine (sèr tin, tè n ) adj. 1°   Qui ne peut manquer, faillir, tromper, en parlant des choses. Ce qui est certain Il est certain que.... Je n oserais donner pour certain que.... Tenir pour certain. Un espoir certain de salut. Je le sais… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • certain — CERTAIN, AINE. adject. Indubitable, vrai. En ce sens il ne se dit que Des choses. Cela est certain. La nouvelle est certaine. Il est certain. On tient pour certain. Faire un rapport certain. J ai eu un avis certain que. ... f♛/b] En parlant Des… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Certain — Cer tain, a. [F. certain, fr. (assumed) LL. certanus, fr. L. certus determined, fixed, certain, orig. p. p. of cernere to perceive, decide, determine; akin to Gr. ? to decide, separate, and to E. concern, critic, crime, riddle a sieve, rinse, v.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • certain — et asseuré, Certus, Indubitatus. Certain de partir, Iam certus eundi. En certain temps, Rato tempore. Il est certain, Liquet, Certum, Non arbitrarium. Il n est rien si certain, Certo certius, B. ex Vlp. Pour certain, Nae, Nimirum, Plane, Verum… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • certain — CERTAIN, [cert]aine. adj. Asseuré, vray. Faire un rapport certain & assuré de quelque chose. des nouvelles certaines. On dit aussi, Estre certain de quelque chose, pour dire, En estre bien asseuré. Estes vous bien certain de cela? j en suis fort… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • certain — [sʉrt′ n] adj. [ME & OFr < VL * certanus < L certus, determined, fixed, orig. pp. of cernere, to distinguish, decide, orig., to sift, separate: see HARVEST] 1. fixed, settled, or determined 2. sure (to happen, etc.); inevitable 3. not to be …   English World dictionary

  • CERTAIN — CERTAIN, CERTITUDE.     Je suis certain; j ai des amis; ma fortune est sûre; mes parents ne m abandonneront jamais; on me rendra justice; mon ouvrage est bon, il sera bien reçu; on me doit, on me paiera; mon amant sera fidèle, il l a juré; le… …   Dictionnaire philosophique de Voltaire

  • certain — I (fixed) adjective absolute, assured, attested, certified, changeless, conclusive, confident, confirmed, decided, decisive, definite, determinate, determined, firm, guaranteed, incontestable, incontrovertible, indisputable, indubitable,… …   Law dictionary

  • certain — cer‧tain [ˈsɜːtn ǁ ˈsɜːrtn] adjective a sum certain LAW an amount of money that cannot be changed or have anything added to it: • a written order requiring the importer to pay a sum certain in the exporter s domestic currency * * * certain UK US… …   Financial and business terms

  • certain — adj 1 positive, *sure, cocksure Analogous words: *confident, assured, sanguine Antonyms: uncertain Contrasted words: *doubtful, dubious, questionable 2 Certain, inevitable, necessary are comparable when they mean bound to follow in obedience to… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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