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[dih-sahy-siv] /dɪˈsaɪ sɪv/
having the power or quality of deciding; putting an end to controversy; crucial or most important:
Your argument was the decisive one.
characterized by or displaying no or little hesitation; resolute; determined:
The general was known for his decisive manner.
indisputable; definite:
a decisive defeat.
unsurpassable; commanding:
a decisive lead in the voting.
Origin of decisive
1605-15; < Medieval Latin dēcīsīvus, equivalent to Latin dēcīs(us) (see decision) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
decisively, adverb
decisiveness, noun
nondecisive, adjective
nondecisively, adverb
nondecisiveness, noun
predecisive, adjective
predecisively, adverb
1. conclusive, final. 2. firm. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for decisive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As yet, however, no decisive advantage had been gained on either side.

  • Still, as the case stood, his triumph was not the less brilliant or decisive.

    Ridgeway Scian Dubh
  • At the dawn of the morning he made his attack sharp, unexpected, decisive.

  • I do not know what he said to the surgeon-major, but it was something clear and decisive.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • "It doesn't matter whose sister you are," was the decisive reply.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
British Dictionary definitions for decisive


influential; conclusive: a decisive argument
characterized by the ability to make decisions, esp quickly; resolute
Derived Forms
decisively, adverb
decisiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for decisive

1610s, from Medieval Latin decisivus, from Latin decis-, past participle stem of decidere (see decide). Related: Decisively; decisiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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