From Middle English certeyn, certein, certain, borrowed from Old French certain, from a Vulgar Latin unattested form *certānus, extended form of Latin certus (“fixed, resolved, certain”), of the same origin as cretus, past participle of cernere (“to separate, perceive, decide”). Displaced native Middle English wis, iwis (“certain, sure”) (from Old English, ġewiss (“certain, sure”) and alternative Middle English spelling sertane (“some, certain”)
certain (comparative more certain, superlative most certain)
- Sure, positive, not doubting.
- (obsolete) Determined; resolved.
- Not to be doubted or denied; established as a fact.
- Actually existing; sure to happen; inevitable.
- Unfailing; infallible.
- Fixed or stated; regular; determinate.
- Not specifically named; indeterminate; indefinite; one or some; sometimes used independently as a noun, and meaning certain persons; see also "one".
- Having been determined but not specified. The quality of some particular subject or object which is known by the speaker to have been specifically singled out among similar entities of its class.
- (with of) Unnamed or undescribed members (of).
certain pl (plural only)
- (with "the") Something certain.