• WordNet 3.6
    • n uncertainty being unsettled or in doubt or dependent on chance "the uncertainty of the outcome","the precariousness of his income"
    • n uncertainty the state of being unsure of something
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Uncertainty That which is uncertain; something unknown. "Our shepherd's case is every man's case that quits a moral certainty for an uncertainty ."
    • Uncertainty The quality or state of being uncertain.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n uncertainty The character or state of being uncertain; want of certainty. Of things: the state of not being certainly known; absence of certain knowledge; doubtfulness; want of reliability; precariousness.
    • n uncertainty Of persons: a state of doubt; a state in which one knows not what to think or do; hesitation; irresolution.
    • n uncertainty Something not certainly or exactly known; anything not determined, settled, or established; a contingency.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Uncertainty state of being uncertain or doubtful: want of certainty: that which is uncertain
    • ***


  • Robert Burns
    “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.”
  • Mark Twain
    “Education is the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.”
  • William Congreve
    “Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life.”
  • John Huston Finley
    John Huston Finley
    “Maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty.”
  • Sir William Osler
    “Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability.”
  • Hubert H. Humphrey
    “I think the worst thing this nation could do for humanity would be to leave any uncertainty as to our will, our purpose and our capacity to carry out our purpose.”


In literature:

Above all, there was an alarming sense of uncertainty in everything.
"When Knighthood Was in Flower" by Charles Major
Deliberation is the necessary effect of the uncertainty in which we find ourselves with reference to the results of our actions.
"Superstition In All Ages (1732)" by Jean Meslier
The actual chemical reactions become very complex and are somewhat shrouded in uncertainty.
"Artificial Light" by M. Luckiesh
His hell was uncertainty.
"Romance" by Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
In a man of his type excitement is the child of uncertainty.
"Bella Donna" by Robert Hichens
Her eyes, wide-open, questioning, seemed to sense my uncertainty.
"The Devil's Own" by Randall Parrish
The Lord James took worst of all with the uncertainty and confinement.
"The Black Douglas" by S. R. Crockett
Similar uncertainties arise with respect to the relative movement of two objects, the eye being supposed to be fixed in space.
"Illusions" by James Sully
There has been some uncertainty on the point whether Nathaniel Davenport was a son of Richard, the commandant at the castle.
"Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II" by Charles Upham
Whether his death came soon or late after 229 A.D. is a matter of some uncertainty.
"Dio's Rome, Volume 1 (of 6)" by Cassius Dio

In poetry:

If I speak gruffly, this mood is
Mere indignation at my own
Shortcomings, plagues, uncertainties;
I forget the gentler tone.
"Sullen Moods" by Robert Graves
You had your searches, your uncertainties,
And this is good to know for us, I mean,
Who bear the brunt of our America
And try to wrench her impulse into art.
"To Whistler, American" by Ezra Pound
It will not be to-day and yet
I think and dream it will; and let
The slow uncertainty devise
So many sweet excuses, met
With the old doubt in hope's disguise.
"Uncertainty" by Madison Julius Cawein
Oh, life and death, uncertainty,
Bright hopes and anxious fears,
Commingle so bewilderingly,
That perfect joy we may not see
Till all shall reunited be
Beyond this vale of tears!
"Sorrow And Joy" by Hattie Howard
I pray you, Daya, once for all, to end
This dire uncertainty. But if you doubt
Whether what 'tis your purpose to reveal
Be right or wrong, be praiseworthy or shameful,
Speak not--I will forget that you have had
Something to hide.
"Nathan The Wise - Act III" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

In news:

The smoke is long gone, but a cloud of uncertainty remains.
And a downpour at the Wyndham Championship meant another day of uncertainty for others on the playoff bubble.
With gasoline and food prices skyrocketing while real estate values are sinking, the public is experiencing financial uncertainty.
There's less uncertainty on the political landscape.
The desire of Airbus and Boeing to expand production is putting a considerable strain on their suppliers, especially in light of ongoing global economic sluggishness and uncertainty.
Uncertainty is stunting growth of the American economy.
STP1541 Uncertainty in Fire Standards and What to Do About It.
Power struggles leave Sri Lanka in uncertainty as politics replaces war as divisive force.
One way to mitigate the effect of uncertainty and disturbance is to dynamically schedule the plan online, through dispatchable execution.
Bloom's new story collection doles out doses of strength for times of uncertainty.
His time was one of great national grief and uncertainty, and he retreats to the temple to try and recover a sense of perspective and peace of mind.
Yet even in such certainty lies uncertainty.
Public broadcasters face multiple and serious uncertainties on Capitol Hill over the next few months.
But on its fragile northern peninsula, Udayarani Sebastian Pillai today lives on the cliff-edge of uncertainty.
Republicans have been saying that businesses aren't hiring because of uncertainty about regulation, the cost of health insurance and the cost of borrowing money.

In science:

The shown uncertainties result from a linear error propagation of the given experimental uncertainties in P (θ) and Q(θ).
Violation of pseudospin symmetry in nucleon-nucleus scattering: exact relations
Considering the relatively small uncertainty of the IRAS responsivity at sub-degree scales we estimate that the overall uncertainty on the IRIS calibration is dominated by the uncertainty on the DIRBE data (including the uncertainty on the zodiacal model).
IRIS: A new generation of IRAS maps
This leaves uncertainty in ΩM and ΩΛ as the dominant source of cosmological uncertainty in the numeric rV value found by this study.
Rates and Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae
For this nearby search, the uncertainty in ΩM and ΩΛ contributes ±2.4% to the systematic uncertainty in either rV or rL .
Rates and Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae
The total uncertainty ∆X tot max of the reconstructed depth of shower maximum is composed of several contributions which, in general, vary from event to event. A conservative estimate of the current Xmax uncertainties gives ∆X tot max ≃ 40 g cm−2 .
Upper limit on the primary photon fraction from the Pierre Auger Observatory