Definition of certitude in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Absolute certainty or conviction that something is the case:

    ‘the question may never be answered with certitude’
    • ‘One has certitude derived from a conviction that she is doctrinally correct.’
    • ‘So it's very important to understand that he provided us at some very crucial moments with context and certitude, with things we had obtained elsewhere for the most part, but we knew we were right.’
    • ‘People are looking for the clear answers, right and wrong, to give certitude in the time of great uncertainty, when no one knows what will happen next.’
    • ‘It should grow in self confidence and regain its lost conviction and certitude in its own faith: a conviction which enabled the ancient Muslims to meet all temporal challenges.’
    • ‘They were given with absolute certitude, a staccato recitation of poll numbers, grand strategy, and historical analogies.’
    • ‘Certainly in this book, his fine poems about his family represent an enquiry into his own roots, a questioning of his own motives, which is lacking in his earlier and middle poems with their pristine certitude.’
    • ‘Two devastating world wars and 50 years of global conflict later, it's easy to laugh at the naïve certitude of Angell's thesis, but at the time such certitude was widely and deeply held.’
    • ‘The title of the piece was Open Letter from a Writer to the Military Junta and it skillfully attacked the dictatorship with an arsenal of reason, facts and moral certitude.’
    • ‘But this administration's outward certitude amid undisclosed intelligence-community doubts was more selective, and thus more misleading, than it needed to be.’
    • ‘‘The moral certitude of the radicals was awesome,’ Field says.’
    • ‘But some analysts believe the commodity can only be booming for at least one more year and it is no longer possible to say with certitude the frequency and amplitude of cyclical movements in steel prices.’
    • ‘I mean, but would I ever say with absolute, you know, 100% certitude that we're safe?’
    • ‘But I think - okay, I also hope - that Voegelin is right to suggest that, in the modern world, sincere faith reduces rather than increases the risk of excessive existential certitude.’
    • ‘This does not mean that we should reject the findings of those efforts outright; they are helpful to an extent, but they ultimately cannot achieve the level of certitude that historians of a more positivist age claimed for them.’
    • ‘When one sees the words ‘Government Superannuation Fund’ one has a sense of some certitude, some certainty, but there is none.’
    • ‘The stories are awful and fascinating, yet it recreates the utter human chaos with character economy, tact and absolute certitude.’
    • ‘True, certitude of convictions can signify moral strength, but that's so rare.’
    • ‘But that did not increase my certitude that he was indeed the answer to my prayer for I was already, by the grace of Heaven, as certain as I could be.’
    • ‘All had clashed with their civilian superiors, and their campaigns imploded for the same reasons that led to those clashes: assertions of intellectual superiority, moral certitude and the lack of a common touch.’
    • ‘Ally this certitude to an almost faultless ear, a sureness of touch, and his first three books are a remarkable achievement for a poet not yet 30.’
    certainty, confidence, sureness, positiveness, conviction, reliability, assuredness, assurance
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun] Something that someone firmly believes is true:
      ‘the collapse of the old political certitudes in eastern Europe’
      • ‘Ever since Plato, philosophers have envied geometers their certitudes.’
      • ‘They are people for whom reality is probably less important than their ideology, and their moral certitudes.’
      • ‘In his writing, this writer whom I had never met, Pico Iyer, unremittingly challenged my world and its certitudes.’
      • ‘English eyes scour the English horizon for the certitudes of English corporatism, and what they see are multinationals who, to an unwelcome extent, dictate the pace and impose the qualitative standards of English life.’
      • ‘The human sciences, serving as a conservative guarantee against this tide of change, rigidly reinforced conventional certitudes about racial, social, sexual, and political hierarchies.’
      • ‘How timely, then, is the appearance of several important books that call these flawed and dangerous certitudes into question.’
      • ‘Still, we are in danger of prematurely embracing certitudes and losing open-mindedness.’
      • ‘Despite the growth of science and its certitudes, there are things that defy a scientific explanation, she maintains.’
      • ‘Constitutional law is rife with clashing certitudes generated by too-clever theories purporting to illuminate the one valid approach to construing the Constitution.’
      • ‘Italian is the language that provides an ethnic voice for unexpected, changing interpretations of the American master narrative from unqualified certitudes to recognition of the mystery of unknown effects.’
      • ‘The editors explore some of the significant Cold War events and issues that scarred a generation of Australians and degraded the national political culture with simplistic certitudes.’
      • ‘This decision involving all being expresses the impossibility of ever stopping, whether it be at some consolation or some truth, at the interests or results of an action, or with the certitudes of knowledge and belief.’
      • ‘We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh.’
      • ‘The early certitudes included the belief that the Taliban regime would implode, that it would be easy to form a broad-based government in Afghanistan, and that the United States would be able to accomplish this task.’
      • ‘For the certitudes its people are now forced to rely upon are ancient - if partial - truths.’
      • ‘I cherished the symbols of dominion so soon to be objects of ridicule or subjects of parody - the plonk of the cricket ball, the stamp of the sentry's boot, the hymns and the silly rituals that spoke of old certitudes.’
      • ‘Winterbottom himself seemed to be prepared for the sort of criticism the film would elicit in opting out of making such certitudes.’
      • ‘As the countless number of people whose lives he touched remember, Hillenbrand had patiently disassembled their easy certitudes to reveal for them new understandings which shimmered in their minds the rest of their lives.’
      • ‘They had hoped for scientific certitudes and now they are being told that science cannot give them this solace.’
      • ‘Whether we celebrate or bemoan the loss of the old Catholic certitudes, we need at least to be alert to what values may fill the space left by them.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin certitudo, from certus certain.