Meaning of CERTAIN in English


/ ˈsɜːtn; NAmE ˈsɜːrtn/ adjective , pronoun

■ adjective


certain (that ... ) | certain (to do sth) | certain (of sth / of doing sth) that you can rely on to happen or to be true :

It is certain that they will agree / They are certain to agree.

She looks certain to win an Oscar.

The climbers face certain death if the rescue today is unsuccessful.

If you want to be certain of getting a ticket, book now.

➡ note at sure


certain (that ... ) | certain (of / about sth) firmly believing sth; having no doubts :

She wasn't certain (that) he had seen her.

Are you absolutely certain about this?

I'm not certain who was there.

To my certain knowledge he was somewhere else at the time (= I am sure about it) .


used to mention a particular thing, person or group without giving any more details about it or them :

For certain personal reasons I shall not be able to attend.

Certain people might disagree with this.

They refused to release their hostages unless certain conditions were met.


( formal ) used with a person's name to show that the speaker does not know the person :

It was a certain Dr Davis who performed the operation.


slight; noticeable, but difficult to describe :

That's true, to a certain extent .

I felt there was a certain coldness in her manner.


- for certain

- make certain (that ... )

- make certain of sth / of doing sth

- of a certain age

■ pronoun

certain of ... ( formal ) used for talking about some members of a group of people or things without giving their names :

Certain of those present were unwilling to discuss the matter further.




bound ♦ sure ♦ definite ♦ assured

These are all words describing sth that will definitely happen or is definitely true.


that you can rely on to happen or be true:

It's certain that they will agree.

They are certain to agree.


[not before noun] certain to happen, or to do or be sth.


Bound is only used in the phrase bound to do / be, etc. :

There are bound to be changes when the new system is introduced.

You've done so much work—you're bound to pass the exam.


certain to happen or be true; that can be trusted on relied on:

She's sure to be picked for the team.

It's sure to rain.


( rather informal ) certain to happen; that is not going to change:

Is it definite that he's leaving?


( formal ) certain to happen:

Victory seemed assured.

They were assured of victory.


certain / sure / assured of sth

certain / bound / sure to do sth

certain / definite that...

I couldn't say for certain / sure / definite.

to be / seem / look certain / bound to... / sure / definite / assured

by no means certain / bound to... / sure / definite / assured

fairly / quite / absoutely certain / sure / definite



Middle English : from Old French , based on Latin certus settled, sure.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.