Webster 1913 Edition



Without doubt or question; unquestionably.

Webster 1828 Edition



Without doubt or question; in truth and fact.
Certainly this was a righteous man. Luke 23.
Without failure.
He said, I will certainly return to thee. Gen. 18.

Definition 2022





certainly (comparative more certainly, superlative most certainly)

  1. In a way which is certain; with certainty.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, I.iii.2.2:
      he verily thought he had young live frogs in his belly, qui vivebant ex alimento suo, that lived by his nourishment, and was so certainly persuaded of it, that for many years following he could not be rectified in his conceit.
  2. Without doubt, surely.
    The accident was certainly caused by human error.
    That was certainly sweet of him.
    You may certainly join us for dinner.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 29686887 , chapter IV:
      So this was my future home, I thought! Certainly it made a brave picture. I had seen similar ones fired-in on many a Heidelberg stein. Backed by towering hills, [] a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
    • 2013 June 7, Gary Younge, Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 18:
      WikiLeaks did not cause these uprisings but it certainly informed them. The dispatches revealed details of corruption and kleptocracy that many Tunisians suspected, but could not prove, and would cite as they took to the streets.
  3. An emphatic affirmative answer; of course.
    Would you like it with ice? Certainly, and with lemon please.


Coordinate terms

Derived terms



  • certainly in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • certainly in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913


Most common English words before 1923: unto · receive · tried · #553: certainly · big · road · husband