from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not known or established; questionable: domestic changes of great if uncertain consequences.
  • adj. Not determined; undecided: uncertain plans.
  • adj. Not having sure knowledge: an uncertain recollection of the sequence of events.
  • adj. Subject to change; variable: uncertain weather.
  • adj. Unsteady; fitful: uncertain light.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. not known for certain; questionable
  • adj. not yet determined; undecided
  • adj. variable and subject to change
  • adj. fitful or unsteady
  • adj. unpredictable or capricious

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not certain; not having certain knowledge; not assured in mind; distrustful.
  • adj. Irresolute; inconsonant; variable; untrustworthy.
  • adj. Questionable; equivocal; indefinite; problematical.
  • adj. Not sure; liable to fall or err; fallible.
  • transitive v. To make uncertain.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not certain; doubtful.
  • Not known as regards quantity or extent; indefinite; problematical: as, an uncertain number of independent voters; a person of uncertain age.
  • Having doubts; without certain knowledge; not sure.
  • Not sure as to aim or effect desired.
  • Unreliable; insecure; not to be depended on.
  • Not firm or fixed; vague; indeterminate in nature; fluctuating.
  • Undecided; hesitating; not resolved.
  • Not steady; fitful.
  • Liable to change; fickle; inconstant; capricious; irresolute.
  • To make or cause to be uncertain.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not established or confirmed
  • adj. not established beyond doubt; still undecided or unknown
  • adj. ambiguous (especially in the negative)
  • adj. subject to change
  • adj. not certain to occur; not inevitable
  • adj. not consistent or dependable
  • adj. lacking or indicating lack of confidence or assurance


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

un- +‎ certain


  • Analysts were reluctant to make predictions beyond one month because of what they described as an uncertain economic outlook given the central bank's ongoing efforts to tame inflation and as a string of interest-rate increases and other measures begin to bite.

    Growth Worries to Plague Chinese Shares

  • Most advanced economies are planning "significant fiscal adjustment" this year in what he described as an "uncertain economic environment."

    IMF Deputy Says Japan Can Learn From Euro Crisis

  • Kroger Co. reported its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings fell 27% on higher costs and offered a cautious outlook for the year amid what it described as the uncertain pace of economic recovery and tough price competition.

    Kroger Offers Cautious Outlook

  • Then he paused and drew back, his expression uncertain.

    City of Glass

  • He seemed at times to assume he already had won the nomination, repeatedly using his questions to direct fire not at his rivals but at President Obama for what he called uncertain and even dangerous leadership. News

  • Many high school teachers remain uncertain who is right about letting into AP, IB or

    High schoolers barred from college-level courses

  • We are living in uncertain times, that is for sure.

    Paso devaluation?

  • Foreign capital has flooded into the U.S., which apparently remains a safe haven, at least for now, in uncertain times.

    How the Crash Will Reshape America

  • What remains uncertain is whether their enthusiasm for renewable energy will carry over into graduate school and lead them to swell the ranks of Americans with advanced science and engineering degrees.

    The Kept-Up Academic Librarian:

  • While Silicon Valley-based Kleiner made its reputation as a financier of tech startups like Netscape, Lane confided that they are inherently risky ventures in uncertain, fast-moving markets.

    Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » The Corporate State


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  • a town in Texas, USA

    February 27, 2008

  • Mr Dedalus, peering through his glasses towards the veiled sun, hurled a mute curse at the sky.

    -- It's as uncertain as a child's bottom, he said.

    Joyce, Ulysses, 6

    January 1, 2007