Definition of certainly adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːtnli//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrtnli//
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  1. 1  without doubt synonym definitely Without treatment, she will almost certainly die. Certainly, the early years are crucial to a child's development. I'm certainly never going there again. She was certainly attractive but you couldn’t call her beautiful. This will certainly make them think again. Which Word?surely / certainly You use surely, especially in British English, to show that you are almost certain about what you are saying and you want other people to agree with you: Surely this can’t be right?Surely in negative sentences shows that something surprises you and you do not want to believe it: You’re surely not thinking of going, are you? Certainly usually means ‘without doubt’ or ‘definitely’, and is used to show that you strongly believe something or to emphasize that something is really true: I’ll certainly remember this trip! In informal North American English this would be: I’ll sure remember this trip! Compare: The meal was certainly too expensive (= there is no doubt about it) and The meal was surely too expensive? (= that is my opinion. Don’t you agree?). In formal language only, surely can be used to mean ‘without doubt’: This will surely end in disaster. Language BankneverthelessConceding a point and making a counter-argument While the film is undoubtedly too long, it is nevertheless an intriguing piece of cinema. It can be argued that the movie is too long. It is nonetheless an intriguing piece of cinema. The film is undoubtedly too long. Still, it is an intriguing piece of cinema. Of course, huge chunks of the book have been sacrificed in order to make a two-hour movie, but it is nevertheless a successful piece of storytelling. Critics are wrong to argue that the film’s plot is too complicated. Certainly there are a couple of major twists, but audiences will have no difficulty following them. It is true that you cannot make a good movie without a good script, but it is equally true that a talented director can make a good script into an excellent film. It remains to be seen whether these two movies herald a new era of westerns, but there is no doubt that they represent welcome additions to the genre.
  2. 2  (used in answer to questions) of course ‘May I see your passport, Mr Scott?’ ‘Certainly.’ ‘Do you think all this money will change your life?’ ‘Certainly not.’
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: certainly