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noun ambiguity, ambivalence, chance, confusion, contingency, darkness, desultoriness, dilemma, dimness, doubt, doubtfulness, dubiousness, equivocation, faintness, feebleness, gamble, hazard, hesitancy, hesitation, improbability, incertitude, inconstancy, incredulity, indefiniteness, indetermination, insecurity, instability, irresolution, jeopardy, misgiving, obscurity, peril, possibility, precariousness, qualm, quandary, reluctance, risk, shadowiness, speculation, suspense, undependability, unevenness, unpredictability, unreliability, unsteadiness, vacillation, vagueness, wavering, weakness
See also: ambiguity, ambivalence, chance, confusion, contingency, dilemma, doubt, hazard, hesitation, improbability, incertitude, incredulity, indecision, jeopardy, misgiving, peril, possibility, qualm, quandary, reluctance, risk, scruple, speculation, venture

CERTAINTY, UNCERTAINTY, contracts. In matters of obligation, a thing is certain, when its essence, quality, and quantity, are described, distinctly set forth, Dig. 12, 1, 6. It is uncertain, when the description is not that of one individual object, but designates only the kind. Louis. Code, art. 3522, No. 8 5 Co. 121. Certainty is the mother of repose, and therefore the law aims at certainty. 1 Dick. 245. Act of the 27th of July, 1789, ii. 2, 1 Story's Laws, 6. His compensation for his servicer, shall not exceed two thousand dollars per annum. Gordon's Dig. art. 211.
     2. If a contract be so vague in its terms, that its meaning cannot be certainly collected, and the statute of frauds preclude the admissibility of parol evidence to clear up the difficulty; 5 Barn. & Cr. 588; S. C. 12 Eng. Com. L. R. 827; or parol evidence cannot supply the defect, then neither at law, nor in equity, can effect be given to it. 1 Russ. & M. 116; 1 Ch. Pr. 123.
     3. It is a maxim of law, that, that is certain which may be made certain; certum est quod certum reddi potest Co. Litt. 43; for example, when a man sells the oil he has in his store at so much a gallon, although there is uncertainty as to the quantity of oil, yet inasmuch as it can be ascertained, the maxim applies, and the sale is good. Vide generally, Story, Eq. El. Sec. 240 to 256; Mitf. Pl. by Jeremy, 41; Coop. Eq. Pl. 5; Wigr. on Disc. 77.

UNCERTAINTY. That which is unknown or vague. Vide Certainty.

References in classic literature ?
In the uncertainties of court intrigue literary success did not gain for Spenser the political rewards which he was seeking, and he was obliged to content himself, the next year, with an appointment, which he viewed as substantially a sentence of exile, as secretary to Lord Grey, the governor of Ireland.
determined not to live by faith if we can avoid it; all the day long on the alert, at night we unwillingly say our prayers and commit ourselves to uncertainties.
The site of my garden was occupied by a rockery, and the orchard grass with all its treasures had been dug up, and the spaces between the trees planted with currant bushes and celery in admirable rows; so that no future little cousins will be able to dream of celestial hosts coming towards them across the fields of daffodils, and will perhaps be the better for being free from visions of the kind, for as I grew older, uncomfortable doubts laid hold of my heart with cold fingers, dim uncertainties as to the exact ultimate position of the gardener and the governess, anxious questionings as to how it would be if it were they who turned out after all to be sheep, and I who--?
He has not the conviction, but the sight, that the best is the true, and may in that thought easily dismiss all particular uncertainties and fears, and adjourn to the sure revelation of time the solution of his private riddles.
Whether he had been trying to make love to his cousin again, and had got a rebuff--or whether his broken rest, night after night, was aggravating the queer contradictions and uncertainties in his character--I don't know.
Fairlie's writing which she had left unread, assisted in clearing up the uncertainties still left to perplex us.
The uncertainties as I've seen in reference to this here state of existence, the unexpected contingencies as have come about
But, while doing this, she was ashamed of him, undetermined whether to get rid of him or more decidedly encourage him, distracted with apprehensions that she was every day becoming more and more immeshed in her uncertainties, and tortured by misgivings that Mrs Merdle triumphed in her distress.
To the second floor on which the window was situated, he ascended, much pre-occupied in mind by the uncertainties besetting the Roman Empire, and much regretting the death of the amiable Pertinax: who only last night had left the Imperial affairs in a state of great confusion, by falling a victim to the fury of the praetorian guards.
But now, all other considerations were lost in the new uncertainties and anxieties of their wild and wandering life; and the very desperation of their condition roused and stimulated her.
But a whole mass of unsettled points and uncertainties remained.
The uncertainty of a measuring system includes uncertainties of its measuring instruments.