certain


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(as) certain as death and taxes

Certain to happen; inevitable and unavoidable. A variation of the proverbial phrase, "Nothing is certain but death and taxes." They just aren't right for each other; they're certain as death and taxes to break up eventually. The two brothers will be forever at each other's throats, as certain as death and taxes.
See also: and, certain, death, taxes

Hell hath no fury like a (certain type of person) scorned

No one will have a greater wrath or vengeance than (this type of person) when they have been wronged. A hyperbolic and often humorous play on the phrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," in which any person, demographic, or profession may be substituted for "woman." The university might think nothing of hiking up the cost of tuition, but we'll show them that Hell hath no fury like a broke college student scorned! The governor, after veering away from his party's core ideologies, is now discovering that Hell hath no fury like politicians scorned.
See also: fury, hath, hell, like, no, of, scorn, type

to a certain degree

Somewhat; partly; in a limited way or to a limited extent. Your essay would be improved to a certain degree by tidying up your paragraphs, but your topic on the whole has some fundamental problems. Our administration is willing to negotiate to a certain degree, but we aren't ready to make any significant changes to the legislation.
See also: certain, degree

to a certain extent

Somewhat; partly; in a limited way or to a limited degree. Your essay would be improved to a certain extent by tidying up your paragraphs, but your topic on the whole has some fundamental problems. Our administration is willing to negotiate to a certain extent, but we aren't ready to make any significant changes to the legislation.
See also: certain, extent

certain party

An intentionally vague term used to refer to someone without revealing their identity. When I asked Carly how she knew about my new relationship, she just said that a certain party told her, but I'm going to need some specifics eventually! I planned to stop by your house tonight, but a certain party threw a tantrum when I tried to pry him away from his toys.
See also: certain, party

certain sure

Positive. Very sure. I was certain sure I saw a dog out here, so where did he get to?
See also: certain, sure

clock (someone or something) at (a certain speed)

To track the speed at which someone or something moves. (The speed is stated after "at.") You're getting a ticket because I clocked you at 90 miles an hour—and the speed limit here is only 55.
See also: certain, clock

come out (a certain way) on (something)

To have a particular outcome with some project, venture, or other thing. We definitely came out well on that merger—it saved the company after all!
See also: certain, come, on, out

to some degree

Somewhat; partly; in a limited way or to a limited extent. Your essay would be improved to some degree by tidying up your paragraphs, but your topic on the whole has some fundamental problems. The administration is willing to negotiate to some degree, but it is not ready to make any significant changes to the legislation.
See also: degree

dead certain

Absolutely sure. I'm dead certain that the answer is 42, but you can check the answer key if you want. Elise was dead certain that the wedding started at four, and, had I listened to her, I would have gotten there on time!
See also: certain, dead

doesn't have a (certain kind of) bone in (one's) body

Does not display the trait stated between "a" and "bone." (This phrase does not refer to an actual bone in the human skeleton.) I highly doubt that Jeannie started that vicious rumor about you—she doesn't have a mean bone in her body.
See also: body, bone, have, kind

have a ring to it

To sound appealing. An adjective, often "certain" or "nice," is commonly used to modify "ring." After so many years of hard work, "Jane Smith, Vice-President of Marketing" sure has a nice ring to it.
See also: have, ring

of a certain age

Not yet old but no longer young. Men of a certain age really shouldn't wear such tight T-shirts. People of a certain age are far likelier to adopt a more conservative outlook on life.
See also: age, certain, of

under certain circumstances

In certain situations. I let my kids sleep with me in my bedroom under certain circumstance, like if they've had a nightmare.

for certain

Definitely. A: "How many people are coming to dinner tonight?" B: "I can't say for certain—my family tends to just show up without responding to invitations."
See also: certain

make certain (that) something

To check something in order to confirm that it is true, correct, or is happening. I just want to make certain that our meeting is still on tomorrow. Will you make certain that our bags are on the train?
See also: certain, make, something

certain party

someone you know but whom I do not wish to name. I spoke to a certain party about the matter you mentioned. If a certain party finds out about you-know-what, what on earth will you do?
See also: certain, party

certain sure

Rur. very sure. Tom: Are you sure you saw Bill at work today? Mary: Certain sure. If you keep hanging around with them no-good kids, you'll get in a heap of trouble for certain sure.
See also: certain, sure

come in a certain position

to finish in a certain position or rank. Fred came in fourth in the race. He was afraid he would come in last.
See also: certain, come, position

dead certain

very sure. (Dead means absolutely.) I'm dead certain that horse will win. I bet two hundred on it myself. I didn't believe the rumor at first, but Bill's dead certain that it's true.
See also: certain, dead

make certain of something

to check something in order to be sure. Please make certain of what you want to do. Would you please make certain of the number of things you want to order?
See also: certain, make, of

Nothing is certain but death and taxes.

Prov. Everything in life is unpredictable, except that you can be sure you will die and you will have to pay taxes. (You can also refer to death and taxes as the only certain things in life.) Son: I can't believe how much tax money is being withheld from my paycheck! Father: Welcome to adult life, where nothing is certain but death and taxes.
See also: and, but, certain, death, nothing, taxes

Nothing is certain but the unforeseen.

Prov. You cannot foresee what will happen. Jill: Now that we've got a new boss, this is certain to be a nicer place to work. Jane: Nothing is certain but the unforeseen.
See also: but, certain, nothing

sell something for a certain price

to market something at a certain price. I think I can sell this for twice what I paid for it. This is selling for twice the price at the shop down the street.
See also: certain, price, sell

under certain circumstances

 and under certain conditions
Fig. depending on or influenced by something; because of something. Under certain conditions, you can see across the lake to the other side. Under certain circumstances, what you propose to do is all right.

death and taxes, certain as

Also, sure as death and taxes. Bound to occur, inevitable, as in His business is going to fail, certain as death and taxes. This phrase was invented by Benjamin Franklin in a letter (1789) and has been repeated ever since, the government's recurring need for revenue probably assuring its continued popularity.
See also: and, certain, death

for certain

Also, for sure. Without doubt. For example, I can't tell for certain if this is the right color, or I know for sure that she has a new car. The first term dates from the early 1300s. The variant, dating from the late 1500s, is also used colloquially to express agreement or assert the truth of a statement, as in Mary is really bossy.-That's for sure, or Are you coming to the party?-For sure I am.
See also: certain

to some degree

Also, to a certain degree; to some or a certain extent ; to a degree or an extent . Somewhat, in a way, as in To some degree we'll have to compromise, or To an extent it's a matter of adjusting to the colder climate. The use of degree in these terms, all used in the same way, dates from the first half of the 1700s, and extent from the mid-1800s.
See also: degree

of a certain age

used euphemistically to avoid specifying the age of someone (typically a woman) of middle age or beyond.
The phrase, first recorded in 1754 , may have been inspired by French d'un certain âge .
2003 Architectural Review Text…is in readable white sans-serif type…and, happily for potential clients of a certain age, it's adjustable with the browser's View/Text Size command.
See also: age, certain, of

for ˈcertain

without doubt: No one can say for certain how the world’s climate is likely to change.
See also: certain

make ˈcertain (that...)

find out whether something is definitely true: I think there’s a bus at 8 o’clock but you’d better call to make certain.
See also: certain, make

make certain of something/of doing something

do something in order to be sure that something else will happen: You’ll have to leave soon to make certain of getting there on time.
See also: certain, make, of, something

of a certain ˈage

if you talk about a person being of a certain age, you mean that they are no longer young but not yet old: The show is designed to appeal to an audience of a certain age.
See also: age, certain, of

for certain

Without doubt; definitely.
See also: certain
References in classic literature ?
Feather-headed, loquacious, excitable, one could make certain of his utter and complete indiscretion.
The other held him under the arm, whispering of dangers ahead, and of what he meant to do in certain contingencies.
2 : known to be true <It's certain that they were here.
Election to use the per-ton rate in determining corporate tax on certain international shipping activities (Notice 2005-2).
Generally, the temporary regulations are effective for certain returns due after 2005, so CPAs need to be familiar with them this filing season.
Certain property that otherwise satisfies the requirements but is placed in service after December 31, 2004 and prior to January 1, 2006 will qualify for "Bonus" depreciation.
certain debt between affiliated corporations, the income from which would be characterized as active business income for FAPI purposes, (19)
The agreement applies to physicians in nine defined specialties practicing within certain defined service regions in southwestern Missouri.
6081-3T does not change the rules for filing extensions for corporate income tax returns; rather, it expands the scope of formerly titled Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Corporation Income Tax Return, from just corporate taxpayers, to partnerships, real estate mortgage investment conduits, certain trusts that previously filed Form 8736 (now made obsolete) and taxpayers that previously requested additional time to file certain excise, income, information and other returns by submitting Form 2758 (now made obsolete).
This Statement establishes standards for how an issuer classifies and measures certain financial instruments with characteristics of both liabilities and equity.
Builders should also recognize that there may be profit in constructing and then selling or leasing out certain types of community facility buildings at certain locations.
To meet the online registration needs of an exponentially growing user base, Certain has made significant investments to its hosting infrastructure to better provide a safe, secure hosting environment.
Taxpayers and their advisers have recently expressed concern about the extent to which the regulations' existing exceptions apply to certain nonrecognition transactions involving asset transfers.
Entities other than individuals, estates and certain trusts were not allowed to own stock in S corporations.
Finally, the Audit Committee believes that, with the implementation of certain remedial measures that were approved by the Board, the Company's equity award processes and procedures will be improved.