Definition of uncertainty in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The state of being uncertain.

    ‘times of uncertainty and danger’
    • ‘That's a grey area, but the very uncertainty injects a nice frisson into the comedy.’
    • ‘Yet ultimately here, even an art that itself seems so self-assured hovers in uncertainty.’
    • ‘One anecdote from last week neatly sums up Labour's uncertainty over how to deal with the new Tory leader.’
    • ‘In this case there was uncertainty about how loved ones had died, and horrific images and stories in the media.’
    • ‘So focusing on actual exchange rate changes would not take this uncertainty into account.’
    • ‘Lesser goals will be blown off course in an environment of uncertainty and constant change.’
    • ‘Ian Scott's cross caused uncertainty in the United box and Bridge scrambled the ball over the line.’
    • ‘No one knows, which creates a new kind of uncertainty for the politicians.’
    • ‘Perhaps this is explained because at times of uncertainty and change there is a degree of comfort in the past.’
    • ‘This level of uncertainty was exacerbated by the use of proportional voting for the first time in the capital.’
    • ‘I feel a bit of uncertainty in the past few weeks and I think that the banking system is stable.’
    • ‘This is especially so in a profession where there is inherent unpredictability and uncertainty.’
    • ‘This time of change and uncertainty in the people of Ireland is an opportunity for the true Church.’
    • ‘Byron's writings reach us from a time of change, upheaval and uncertainty across Europe.’
    • ‘The early 1990s was a time of great economic and political uncertainty in Russia.’
    • ‘He said a three-year deal would also allow uncertainty over the upgrade of the East Coast to be cleared up.’
    • ‘To say that he discovers love and it changes him would simplify a situation, wrought with uncertainty.’
    • ‘After some uncertainty, Essex Police Authority has now been granted the money.’
    • ‘While the low-cost travel revolution is far from over, there is uncertainty as to where it goes next.’
    • ‘European investors believe the company is priced too high considering this uncertainty.’
    hesitancy, tentativeness, unsureness, lack of confidence, diffidence, doubtfulness, doubt
    unsureness, lack of certainty, indecision, irresolution, hesitancy, doubt, doubtfulness, wavering, vacillation, equivocation, vagueness, ambivalence, lack of conviction, disquiet, disquietude, wariness, chariness, scepticism
    unpredictability, unreliability, riskiness, chanciness, precariousness, unsureness
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    1. 1.1[count noun]Something that is uncertain or that causes one to feel uncertain.
      ‘financial uncertainties’
      • ‘Humanitarian intervention emerged in response to Western uncertainties.’
      • ‘He said he saw uncertainties in Hong Kong and Macau packaged tours after the travel rules were relaxed.’
      • ‘Political uncertainties in the region could also lead to limited direct foreign investment.’
      • ‘What we have is wrapped in uncertainties, caveats and simplifications.’
      • ‘The lingering uncertainties, meanwhile, are putting off potential tenants from heading back to the area.’
      • ‘Management do not want to launch it during staffing uncertainties.’
      • ‘Victory removed the uncertainties created by the long build-up to war.’
      • ‘Fortunately there is an expert cast to help guide us through the uncertainties and unfamiliarity of the journey.’
      • ‘Despite these uncertainties, Trujillo has made a good start in moving Orange away from red towards black.’
      • ‘But uncertainties lingered at the week's close, despite a partial recovery in values.’
      • ‘I have also spent time talking with my classes and helping them to deal with their fears and uncertainties for the future.’
      • ‘There are uncertainties surrounding the determination of the annual maintenance cost.’
      • ‘If cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties, then its one-day version is sheer caprice.’
      • ‘Odd tensions and feelings and questions and uncertainties and so on abound in my little head.’
      • ‘She also explained that there were some uncertainties with the permit process.’
      • ‘We are still living in the blur, the uncertainties, the possibilities of war.’
      • ‘Steering the nest egg in a sea of uncertainties is challenging - even for the professionals.’
      • ‘One of the uncertainties concerns the basic question of how many Africans were imported.’
      • ‘Despite the various uncertainties surrounding it, it would be unwise to rule out this possibility.’
      • ‘Nor does it lessen the uncertainties facing business leaders right across the economy.’
      doubt, qualm, misgiving, apprehension, quandary, dilemma, reservation, niggle, scruple, second thought, query, question, question mark, suspicion
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