Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


We only say more direct, not more certain or extended enlightenment.

True, victory was becoming more and more certain as the estate expanded.

The more he thought about it, the more certain he became that he would choose to escape.

They are not more certain than facts, but they are equally certain (Phaedo).

The more he delays replying to our letter, the more certain I am that this is the case.

This Mistery in Love, it may be, is not generally known, but nothing is more certain.

I cannot imagine any job at which Moyne would be more certain to fail totally.

The more triumphant are my statements, the more certain will be my defeat.

I assented, and felt the more certain that the Jesuit's remark held a meaning.

There was nothing in the world that Hugh was more certain of than this.


c.1300, "determined, fixed," from Old French certain "reliable, sure, assured" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *certanus, from Latin certus "sure, fixed, settled, determined" (also source of Italian certo, Spanish cierto), originally a variant past participle of cernere "to distinguish, decide," literally "to sift, separate" (see crisis).

Of persons, "full of confidence in one's knowledge or judgment," from mid-14c. Euphemistic use (of a certain age, etc.) attested from mid-18c. Certainer, certainest were common to c.1750, but have fallen from proper use for some reason. Expression for certain "assuredly" is attested by early 14c.