From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishcertaincer‧tain1 /ˈsɜːtn $ ˈsɜːr-/ ●●● S1 W1 adjective 1 [not before noun]SURE confident and sure, without any doubts SYN surecertain (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.► see thesaurus at sureRegisterIn everyday English, people usually say sure rather than certain: I’m sure I gave him the money.2 CERTAINLY/DEFINITELYif 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 certain4 → for certain5 [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 behaviourin certain circumstances/cases etc Extra funding may be available in certain circumstances.6 → a certainCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: if something is certain, it will definitely happen or is definitely truephrasesit seems certain that …It seemed certain that the other team would win.somebody seems/looks/appears certain to do somethingFor a while the whole project looked certain to fail.something is by no means certain (=not definite)Victory was by no means certain for Smith.something is far from certain (=not definite)Success is far from certain.adverbsfairly certainOpposition to the changes is fairly certain.almost/virtually certainIt is almost certain that she will be given a prison sentence.Prices are virtually certain to increase.nounscertain deathIf they stayed in the war zone, they faced almost certain death. THESAURUS – Meaning 2: if something is certain, it will definitely happen or is definitely truecertain if something is certain, you are completely sure that it will happen or is trueSuccess seems certain.It is almost certain that there will be a change of government.Nobody knows exactly who built the manor, but it is certain that an architect called John Sturges supplied the drawings. definite if something is definite, it is certain because someone has officially stated that it will happen, is true etcI hope you can give me a definite answer soon.The wedding will be next summer but a definite date has not been arranged yet.I’ve got a good chance of getting the job, but it’s not definite yet.inevitable if something, especially something bad, is inevitable, it is certain to happen and you cannot do anything to prevent itWar now seems inevitable.It was inevitable that he would find out her secret sooner or later.Facial wrinkles are the inevitable result of aging.be bound to if something is bound to happen, it is very likely to happen, especially because that is what usually happens in that kind of situation. Be bound to is less formal than certain and is very common in everyday spoken EnglishThe kids are bound to be hungry when they get home – they always are.My car broke down today. It was bound to happen sooner or later.be assured of something formal to be certain to get something good, or to be successfulAfter the success of its recent single, the band is now assured of a contract with a major record company.He is is virtually assured of becoming the next prime minister. Our clients are assured of comfortable accommodation and the attention of our trained staff.something is a foregone conclusion if something is a foregone conclusion, its result is certain even though it has not happened yetThey were winning by such a large margin that victory seemed to be a foregone conclusion.Party members believe it is a foregone conclusion that he will resign.
Examples from the Corpuscertain• Computer prices will continue to fall - that's certain.• He was certain about one thing - she would come back one day.• You will see that generally a certain amount of light comes through.• Her business faces certain bankruptcy.• Coaches should be certain before they challenge a referee's decision.• Ignoring all warnings, the general led his men to certain death.• It is impossible to look at certain drawings without laughing.• The Minoans also regarded certain inanimate objects as incarnations of a deity.• She won't let you borrow the car - I'm certain of that.• Because the growing, feeding and slaughtering of kosher chickens are supervised by rabbis, all growers must meet certain standards.• It is only in certain subjects - notably mathematics, technical subjects and physics - that boys do better than girls.• Nobody knows exactly who built the manor, but it is certain that an architect called John Sturges supplied the drawings.• As the results came in, it was now almost certain that Ken Livingstone would be the new Mayor of London.• There will also be deep-seated reasons why certain types of behaviour elicit strong responses in others.• Are you certain you didn't leave your keys at home?• Don't stop looking until you're absolutely certain you've found the place you want.certain (that)• On the other hand, nothing is certain.• The death is slow, taking several years, but certain.• Moderated drinking is seen as a viable goal for certain clients.• The selection of a particular planning frame commits the speaker to using certain function words and affixes and not others.• All the programs block access to certain Internet forums.• Only peddlers or certain ministers would barge right in.• I'm almost certain that Jackie was pregnant when they got married.• Begin by making certain that the door itself is strong enough.• Tumour necrosis factor, interferon alfa, and interleukin 2 have already been expressed and secreted in high concentrations within certain tumours.It ... seems certain that• It seems certain that all eight have been copied, ultimately from a single ancestral globin gene.• It now seems certain that cheap, convenient videoconferencing is at last going to reach a mass market of computer users.• In terms of the training materials themselves, it seems certain that digital multimedia will play a major role.• It seems certain that pavement K, Woodchester is of the same period as the Orpheus mosaic, i.e. c. 310-325.• It seems certain that there is still a place for working elephants in mountainous regions where machinery can not easily operate.• It seems certain that to Modigliani she acted as stimulant, irritant and catalyst for his work.• It now seems certain that, whichever party comes to power on 5 March, the latest funding measures will be upheld.certain kind/type/sort• Shaq, this move is only effective against a certain type of defense.• Schattschneider argues that certain types of groups are organised into politics and others are organised out of it'.• And a certain kind of heroism, a tone of valiant despair, colors the choreography.• There is a certain kind of leader who recruits only people like himself or herself.• Perhaps it was that which made her attractive to a certain type of man.• These networks, which included certain kinds of neighbouring, included those for whom ties of kinship were of primary significance.• In the first place, the rule could apply only to a certain kind of poetry.certaincertain2 pronoun → certain of somebody/something
Examples from the Corpuscertain• You have to be a certain height to go on some of the rides.• There are certain things I just can't talk to my mother about.• Some vegetables are only available at certain times of the year.• In certain ways Martha's good to work for, but she's really sarcastic.From Longman Business Dictionarycertaincer‧tain /ˈsɜːtnˈsɜːrtn/ adjective a sum certainLAW an amount of money that cannot be changed or have anything added to ita written order requiring the importer to pay a sum certain in the exporter’s domestic currencyOrigin certain1 (1200-1300) Old French Vulgar Latin certanus, from Latin certus “decided, certain”, from cernere “to sift, decide”