certainty, certitude
Leaving aside special meanings in philosophy, both words imply the absence of doubt about the truth of something, but certitude is a more subjective feeling whereas certainty is, strictly speaking, verifiable. In practice, however, certitude is falling out of use (and has almost no countable usage, as in a certitude and certitudes), and certainty is taking over its functions. Examples: (certainty)

• He was filled with certainty, a deep, sure, clean conviction that engulfed him like a flood —R. P. Warren, 1939

• He never had the absolute certainty that one day he'd get the boat —R. Ingalis, 1987

• (certitude) An obsession with statistics as the sole ground of certitude in a changing world —Encounter, 1964

• We craved certitude and order, and Oxford gave us both —Ved Mehta, 1993.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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  • certitude — [ sɛrtityd ] n. f. • 1375; lat. certitudo, de certus → certain 1 ♦ Caractère certain (I, A, 1°); ce qui est certain. ⇒ évidence, vérité. Certitude d un fait. C est maintenant une certitude. « Il y a contre lui des présomptions terribles, il n y a …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Certitude — • The word indicates both a state of mind and a quality of a proposition, according as we say, I am certain , or, It is certain Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Certitude     Certitude …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • certitude — CERTITUDE. subst. f. Assurance pleine et entière. Quelle certitude en avez vous? La certitude que j en ai, est que... Cela est certain, de toute certitude. Je sais cela avec certitude. Certitude morale, certitude physique, certitudemétaphysique.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Certitude — Студийный а …   Википедия

  • certitude — Certitude. s. f. Asseurance pleine & entiere. Je sçay cela de certitude. il n y a aucune certitude en tout ce qu il dit. quelle certitude en avez vous? cela est certain de toute certitude. Il signifie aussi, Stabilité. Il n y a nulle certitude… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Certitude — Cer ti*tude, n. [LL. certitudo, fr. L. certus: cf. F. certitude. See {Certain}.] Freedom from doubt; assurance; certainty. J. H. Newman. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • certitude — early 15c., from M.Fr. certitude certainty (16c.), from L.L. certitudinem (nom. certitudo) that which is certain, from L. certus (see CERTAIN (Cf. certain)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • certitude — I noun absolute certainty, absoluteness, ascertained fact, assurance, assuredness, attestation, certainness, certainty, certainty of meaning, conclusiveness, confidence, confidentness, conviction, dead certainty, definiteness, freedom from error …   Law dictionary

  • certitude — *certainty, assurance, conviction Analogous words: *belief, faith, credence, credit: sureness, positiveness, cocksureness (see corresponding adjectives at SURE) Antonyms: doubt Contrasted words: *uncertainty, skepticism, mistrust …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • certitude — ► NOUN ▪ a feeling of absolute certainty. ORIGIN Latin certitudo, from certus certain …   English terms dictionary

  • certitude — [sʉrt′ə to͞od΄, sʉrt′ətyo͞od΄] n. [OFr < LL(Ec) certitudo < L certus, CERTAIN] 1. a feeling of absolute sureness or conviction 2. sureness; inevitability SYN. CERTAINTY …   English World dictionary

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