uncertainty


uncertainty
uncertainty, doubt, dubiety, dubiosity, skepticism, suspicion, mistrust can all mean a feeling of unsureness about someone or something.
Uncertainty stresses the lack of certainty or certitude that may range from a mere falling short of these to an almost complete lack of knowledge or conviction especially about the result or outcome of something (suffered an agonizing uncertainty concerning his son's fate)
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she drove without any uncertainty or hesitation as to her route— Deland

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if you are really in love, there is no uncertainty: there must not be, or else your marriage would always be ... a gamble— Maclnnes

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waited in eagerness and impatience, and then in uncertainty, in anxiety, in hurt pride, in anger— Farre11

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Doubt implies both an uncertainty about the truth or reality or status of something and an inability to make a decision, often even after study or investigation; frequently the term implies such a feeling or state of mind in respect to religious beliefs or doctrines
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he never felt a doubt of God's existence

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there crept into the diary . . . signs of doubt and then of despair— Shirer

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longed for some reassurance in the midst of the dismay and doubt which possessed her— Gibbons

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no man likes to have his intelligence or good faith questioned, especially if he has doubts about it himself— Henry Adams

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Dubiety (compare dubious under DOUBTFUL) comes closer to uncertainty than to doubt, for it stresses a lack of sureness rather than an inability to reach a decision as to where the truth lies. But it regularly carries, as uncertainty does not, a strong implication of wavering or of fluctuations between one conclusion and another
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faith free from all dubiety

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the twilight of dubiety never falls upon him— Lamb

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cannot escape the dubieties and problems of his day and . . . finds himself swerved from his certainties and confronted with the tenuousness of his preconceptions— Sat. Review

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Dubiosity is not always distinguishable from dubiety
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men . . . swallow falsities for truths, dubiosities for certainties— Browne

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Sometimes, however, it suggests not uncertainty, but vagueness, indistinctness, or mental confusion
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had not cogitated long ere she pronounced distinctly and without a shadow of dubiosity: "My opinion is . . . ."— Meredith

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Skepticism suggests in this, its general sense, an unwillingness to believe without demonstration or an incredulity while any plausible evidence to the contrary exists; it usually refers to a habitual or temperamental state of mind or to a customary reaction to something proposed for belief
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an easy and elegant skepticism was the attitude expected of an educated adult; anything might be discussed, but it was a trifle vulgar to reach very positive conclusions— Russell

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has found that skepticism rather than dogmatism is the key to human freedom— New Republic

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Suspicion stresses conjecture or apprehension that someone or something is not true, real, or right or that he or it has worked or is working evil or injury, but it also implies that the conjecture or apprehension is accompanied by uncertainty or doubt, often to the extent that the term comes close to doubt
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seized with unwonted suspicion of his own wisdom— Meredith

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a glance of defiant nonchalance which . . . became a look of suspicion, and, finally, of rude disdain—Terry Southern

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the most ordinary actions became . . . entangled in complicated webs of apprehension and suspicionGibbons

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a stranger ... regarded with suspicion, if not actual hostility— Hudson

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Mistrust (see also DISTRUST) implies doubt that is based upon suspicion and that therefore precludes the possibility of one's having faith or confidence or trust in a person or thing
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intracommunity bickering, conflict, and mistrust obscure the steady vision of extracommunity danger— A. E. Stevenson

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man is only weak through his mistrust and want of hope— Wordsworth

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Antonyms: certainty
Contrasted words: certitude, conviction, assurance (see CERTAINTY)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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