A certificate is a paper or document that proves some fact. Your most prized possession might be the certificate you got when you became a black belt in karate.

Your fastidious friend might need to check the health inspection certificate before she'll agree to eat in a restaurant, and you'll need a copy of your birth certificate before you can apply for a passport. A certificate certifies or documents the fact that you are who you say you are, that you're licensed to drive, or authorized to practice dentistry, for example. You can trace the word certificate back to the Latin certus, "sure, fixed, settled."

Definitions of certificate

n a document attesting to the truth of certain stated facts

certification, credential, credentials
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certificate of incorporation
state approval of the articles of incorporation of a corporation
birth certificate
a copy of the official document giving details of a person's birth
diploma, sheepskin
a document certifying the successful completion of a course of study
commission, military commission
an official document issued by a government and conferring on the recipient the rank of an officer in the armed forces
bill of health
a certificate saying that a departing ship's company is healthy (to be presented at the next port of arrival)
a document certifying an act of registering
teacher's certificate, teaching certificate
a certificate saying that the holder is qualified to teach in the public schools
probate, probate will
a judicial certificate saying that a will is genuine and conferring on the executors the power to administer the estate
HND, Higher National Diploma
a diploma given for vocational training that prepares the student for a career in a particular area; good students may progress to a course leading to a degree
Type of:
document, papers, written document
writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature)

n a formal declaration that documents a fact of relevance to finance and investment; the holder has a right to receive interest or dividends

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agency security, government security
a security issued by United States government agencies or the Farm Credit System
mortgage-backed security
a security created when a group of mortgages are gathered together and bonds are sold to other institutions or the public; investors receive a portion of the interest payments on the mortgages as well as the principal payments; usually guaranteed by the government
registered security
a security whose owner's name is recorded on the books of the issuer (or issuer's agent)
a certificate whose value is recognized by the payer and payee; scrip is not currency but may be convertible into currency
stock, stock certificate
a certificate documenting the shareholder's ownership in the corporation
tax-exempt, tax-exempt security
a security that is not subject to taxation
bond, bond certificate
a certificate of debt (usually interest-bearing or discounted) that is issued by a government or corporation in order to raise money; the issuer is required to pay a fixed sum annually until maturity and then a fixed sum to repay the principal
zero coupon security, zero-coupon security
a security that makes no interest payments but instead is sold at a deep discount from its face value
partnership certificate
a certificate showing the interests of all parties in a business partnership
proprietorship certificate
a certificate showing who is responsible in an individually owned business
convertible, convertible security
a corporate security (usually bonds or preferred stock) that can be exchanged for another form of security (usually common stock)
letter security
a stock or bond that is not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and cannot be sold in the public market
listed security
a security that has been accepted for trading by one of the organized and registered securities exchanges in the US
OTC security, over the counter security, unlisted security
a security traded in the over-the-counter market
bond issue
bonds sold by a corporation or government agency at a particular time and identifiable by date of maturity
convertible bond
a bond that can be converted to other securities under certain conditions
corporate bond
a bond issued by a corporation; carries no claim to ownership and pays no dividends but payments to bondholders have priority over payments to stockholders
bearer bond, coupon bond
a bond issued with detachable coupons that must be presented to the issuer for interest payments
government bond
a bond that is an IOU of the United States Treasury; considered the safest security in the investment world
high-yield bond, junk bond
a (speculative) bond with a credit rating of BB or lower; issued for leveraged buyouts and other takeovers by companies with questionable credit
municipal bond
a bond issued by a state or local government
noncallable bond
a bond containing a provision that the holder cannot redeem the security before a specific date (usually at maturity)
performance bond, surety bond
a bond given to protect the recipient against loss in case the terms of a contract are not filled; a surety company assumes liability for nonperformance
post-obit bond
a bond made by a reversioner to secure a loan; payable out of his reversion
registered bond
a bond whose owner is recorded on the books of the issuer; can be transferred to another owner only when endorsed by the registered owner
revenue bond
a bond issued by an agency that is commissioned to finance public works; revenue from the public property is used to pay off the bond
secured bond
a bond that is back by collateral
debenture, debenture bond, unsecured bond
the ability of a customer to obtain goods or services before payment, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future
zero coupon bond, zero-coupon bond
a bond that is issued at a deep discount from its value at maturity and pays no interest during the life of the bond; the commonest form of zero-coupon security
any of the equal portions into which the capital stock of a corporation is divided and ownership of which is evidenced by a stock certificate
Premium Bond
a government bond that bears no interest or capital gains but enters the holder into lotteries
letter stock
stock that has not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and cannot be sold to the general public
letter bond
a bond that has not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and cannot be sold to the general public
OTC stock, over the counter stock, unlisted stock
stock that is not listed and traded on an organized exchange
Type of:
instrument, legal document, legal instrument, official document
(law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right

v authorize by certificate

Type of:
authorise, authorize, clear, pass
grant authorization or clearance for

v present someone with a certificate

Type of:
award, present
give, especially as an honor or reward

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