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UNCERTAIN

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does uncertain mean? 

UNCERTAIN (adjective)
  The adjective UNCERTAIN has 7 senses:

1. lacking or indicating lack of confidence or assurance
2. not established beyond doubt; still undecided or unknown
3. not established or confirmed
4. not certain to occur; not inevitable
5. subject to change
6. not consistent or dependable
7. ambiguous (especially in the negative)

  Familiarity information: UNCERTAIN used as an adjective is common.


 Dictionary entry details 


UNCERTAIN (adjective)


Sense 1uncertain [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Lacking or indicating lack of confidence or assurance

Synonyms:

incertain; uncertain; unsure

Context examples:

uncertain of his convictions / unsure of himself and his future / moving with uncertain (or unsure) steps / an uncertain smile / touched the ornaments with uncertain fingers

Similar:

groping; hesitant (acting with uncertainty or hesitance or lack of confidence)

doubtful; dubious (fraught with uncertainty or doubt)

ambivalent (uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow)

Attribute:

assurance; authority; confidence; self-assurance; self-confidence; sureness (freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities)

certainty (the state of being certain)

Antonym:

certain (having or feeling no doubt or uncertainty; confident and assured)


Sense 2uncertain [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not established beyond doubt; still undecided or unknown

Context examples:

an uncertain future / a manuscript of uncertain origin / plans are still uncertain / changes of great if uncertain consequences / without further evidence his story must remain uncertain

Similar:

indefinite (not decided or not known)

up in the air (very uncertain)

Also:

indeterminate; undetermined (not precisely determined or established; not fixed or known in advance)

Attribute:

certainty; foregone conclusion; sure thing (something that is certain)

Antonym:

certain (established beyond doubt or question; definitely known)


Sense 3uncertain [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not established or confirmed

Synonyms:

unsealed; uncertain

Context example:

his doom is as yet unsealed


Sense 4uncertain [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not certain to occur; not inevitable

Context examples:

everything is uncertain about the army / the issue is uncertain

Similar:

chancy; flukey; fluky; iffy (subject to accident or chance or change)

contingent (uncertain because of uncontrollable circumstances)

up in the air (not yet determined)

Also:

unpredictable (not capable of being foretold)

Antonym:

certain (certain to occur; destined or inevitable)


Sense 5uncertain [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Subject to change

Synonyms:

changeable; unsettled; uncertain

Context examples:

a changeable climate / the weather is uncertain / unsettled weather with rain and hail and sunshine coming one right after the other

Similar:

variable (liable to or capable of change)


Sense 6uncertain [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not consistent or dependable

Context examples:

an uncertain recollection of events / a gun with a rather uncertain trigger

Similar:

undependable; unreliable (not worthy of reliance or trust)


Sense 7uncertain [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Ambiguous (especially in the negative)

Context example:

she spoke in no uncertain terms

Similar:

ambiguous (having more than one possible meaning)


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Patience is a virtue." (English proverb)

"Tree would bend when it bears fruit." (Azerbaijani proverb)

"Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble." (Arabic proverb)

"He who seeks, finds." (Corsican proverb)

 UNCERTAIN: related words searches 

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