|Mawson, C.O.S., ed. (18701938). Rogets International Thesaurus. 1922.|
|Class IV. Words Relating to the Intellectual Faculties|
|Division (I) Formation of Ideas|
| Section III. Materials for Reasoning|
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|NOUN:||UNCERTAINTY, incertitude, doubt; doubtfulness &c. adj.; dubiety, dubitation, dubitancy [obs.], dubiosity, dubiousness.|
HESITATION, suspense, state of suspense; perplexity, embarrassment, dilemma, Mortons fork [hist.], bewilderment; botheration [colloq.]; puzzle, quandary; timidity (fear) [See Fear]; vacillation [See Irresolution]; aporia, diaporesis, indetermination; sealed orders.
VAGUENESS &c. adj.; haze, fog; obscurity (darkness) [See Darkness]; ambiguity (double meaning) [See Equivocalness]; contingency, double contingency, possibility upon a possibility; open question (question) [See Inquiry]; onus probandi [L.], blind bargain, pig in a poke, leap in the dark, something or other; needle in a bottle of hay; roving commission.
FALLIBILITY; unreliability, unreliableness, untrustworthiness; precariousness &c. adj.
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|VERB:||BE UNCERTAIN &c. adj.; wonder whether.|
lose the -clew or clue, - scent; miss ones way, wander aimlessly, beat about, hang around.
not know -what to make of (unintelligibility) [See Unintelligibility], - which way to turn, - whether one stands on ones head or ones heels; float in a sea of doubt, hesitate, flounder; lose oneself, lose ones head; muddle ones brains.
RENDER UNCERTAIN &c. adj.; put out, pose, puzzle, perplex, embarrass; muddle, confuse, confound; bewilder, bother, moider [dial.], rattle [colloq.], nonplus, addle the wits, throw off the scent, keep in suspense, keep one guessing.
DOUBT, (disbelieve) [See Unbelief. Doubt]; hang in the balance, tremble in the balance; depend.
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|ADJECTIVE:||UNCERTAIN, unsure; casual; random (aimless) [See Chance]; changeable, changeful [See Changeableness].|
DOUBTFUL, dubious; dazed; insecure, unstable, indecisive; unsettled, undecided, undetermined; in suspense, open to discussion; controvertible; in question (inquiry) [See Inquiry].
VAGUE; indeterminate, indefinite; ambiguous, equivocal; undefined, undefinable, confused (indistinct) [See Invisibility]; mysterious, cryptic, veiled, obscure, oracular.
PERPLEXING &c. v.; enigmatic, paradoxical, apocryphal, problematical, hypothetical; experimental [See Experiment].
FALLIBLE, questionable, precarious, slippery, ticklish, debatable, disputable; unreliable, untrustworthy.
UNAUTHENTIC, unauthenticated, unauthoritative; unascertained, unconfirmed; undemonstrated; untold, uncounted.
CONTINGENT, contingent on, dependent on; subject to; dependent on circumstances; occasional; provisional.
in a state of uncertainty, on the horns of a dilemma, in a cloud, in a maze; bushed, off the track; derailed; ignorant [See Ignorance]; afraid to say; out of ones reckoning, out of ones bearings, astray, adrift; at sea, at fault, at a loss, at ones wits end, at a non-plus; puzzled &c. v.; lost, abroad, désorienté [F.]; distracted, distraught.
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|ADVERB:||UNCERTAINLY &c. adj.; at random, until things straighten out, while things are so uncertain, in this state of suspense; pendente lite [L.]; sub spe rati [L.].|
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- Heaven knows.
- Who can tell?
- Who shall decide when doctors disagree?
- Spargere voces in vulgum ambiguas.Vergil
- He is no wise man who will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.Johnson
- A little philosophy inclineth mans mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth mens minds about to religion.Bacon
- Dum in dubio est animus paulo momento huc illuc impellitur.Terence
- To-morrow is, ah, whose?Mulock
- Unborn To-morrow and dead Yesterday.Omar KhayyámFitzgerald
- Gather ye rose-buds while ye may.Herrick
- Uncertainty! Fell demon of our fears! The human soul, That can support despair, supports not thee.Mallet
- There is such a choice of difficulties, that I own myself at a loss how to determine.General James WolfeDispatch to Pitt