1 determiner, pronoun
1 a certain thing, person, place etc is a particular thing, person etc that you are not naming or describing exactly: You can get cheaper fares on certain days of the year. | There are certain things I just can't discuss with my mother. | certain of formal (=several particular people or things in a group): Certain of the older members objected strongly to the proposal.
2 some, but not a lot: a certain amount of: a certain amount of flexibility | to a certain extent/degree (=in a limited way, but not completely): I agree with you to a certain extent but there are other factors to consider.
3 a certain
a) enough of a particular quality to be noticed: There's a certain prestige about going to a private school.
b) formal used to talk about someone you do not know but whose name you have been told: There's a certain Mrs. Myles on the phone for you..
2 adjective
1 (not before noun) confident and sure, without any doubts: Just so we're absolutely certain, can I check these figures? | certain (that): We're certain that by tomorrow, Mr Knowles, you'll have an answer. | certain who/what/how etc: I'm not certain whether there's a bus service on Sundays.
(+ about/of): Now are you certain about that? | I'm not quite certain of how much is left in that account.
2 know/say for certain to know something without any doubt: "How much will the repairs cost." "I couldn't say for certain."
3 make certain
a) to do something in order to be sure that something will happen: make certain (that): Can you draw Harry a map just to make certain he'll find the hotel?
b) to check that something is correct or true
(+ of): I suggest you make certain of your facts before you accuse anybody.
4 if something is certain, it will definitely happen or is definitely true: a business facing certain bankruptcy | it is certain (that): It now seems certain that Pam will lose her license. | certain to do sth: There's one boy who's certain to succeed! | it is not certain who/what/how etc: It's not certain where he lived. (=no one knows definitely)

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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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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