Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

uncertain - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective uncertain pronunciation in British English /ʌnˈsɜː(r)t(ə)n/
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    not clearly known or understood
    The origin of the word is uncertain.
    it is uncertain whether/why/how etc: It is uncertain how they entered the property.
    remain uncertain: Despite recent research, the precise mechanism of the virus remains uncertain.
    1. a.
      likely to change and become worse
      The economic outlook was beginning to look uncertain.
      uncertain future: The industry as a whole faces a very uncertain future.
  2. 2
    not feeling sure about what to do, whether something is true etc
    uncertain about/of: I left the meeting feeling anxious, and uncertain about what to do next.
    uncertain what/why/how etc: Greg was uncertain how to respond to this odd request.
    1. a.
      not confident
      Sara seemed more self-assured: no longer young and uncertain, but a confident professional woman.


derived word


a fashion trend in which people intentionally wear ordinary, inexpensive, widely-available clothing

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a flower or small bunch of flowers worn on the lapel of a jacket on special occasions

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog