View synonyms for determine


[ dih-tur-min ]

verb (used with object)

, de·ter·mined, de·ter·min·ing.
  1. to conclude or ascertain, as after reasoning, observation, etc.

    Synonyms: verify

  2. to settle or decide (a dispute, question, etc.) by an authoritative or conclusive decision.

    Synonyms: adjust, resolve

  3. to cause, affect, or control; fix or decide causally:

    Demand for a product usually determines supply.

    Synonyms: influence

  4. to give direction or tendency to; impel.

    Synonyms: incline, lead, induce

  5. Geometry. to fix the position of.
  6. Logic. to limit (a notion) by adding differentiating characteristics.
  7. Chiefly Law. to put an end to; terminate.
  8. to lead or bring (a person) to a decision.
  9. to decide upon.

verb (used without object)

, de·ter·mined, de·ter·min·ing.
  1. to come to a decision or resolution; decide.
  2. Chiefly Law. to come to an end.


/ dɪˈtɜːmɪn /


  1. to settle or decide (an argument, question, etc) conclusively, as by referring to an authority
  2. tr to ascertain or conclude, esp after observation or consideration
  3. tr to shape or influence; give direction to

    experience often determines ability

  4. tr to fix in scope, extent, variety, etc

    the river determined the edge of the property

  5. to make or cause to make a decision

    he determined never to marry

  6. tr logic to define or limit (a notion) by adding or requiring certain features or characteristics
  7. tr geometry to fix or specify the position, form, or configuration of

    two points determine a line

  8. law to come or bring to an end, as an estate or interest in land
  9. tr to decide (a legal action or dispute)

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Other Words From

  • inter·de·termine verb (used with object) interdetermined interdetermining
  • quasi-de·termine verb quasidetermined quasidetermining
  • rede·termine verb redetermined redetermining
  • unde·termin·ing adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of determine1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Old French determiner, from Latin dētermināre “to mark out and fix boundaries,” equivalent to dē- prefix indicating separation + termināre “to bound, limit”; de-, terminate

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Word History and Origins

Origin of determine1

C14: from Old French determiner, from Latin dētermināre to set boundaries to, from de- + termināre to limit; see terminate

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Idioms and Phrases

see bound and determined .

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Example Sentences

That strategy has been used in some cases to help determine GMO policy.

The fear of violence should not determine what one does or does not say.

That makes it incredibly difficult to determine the effects of airstrikes, for example.

Where the U.S. once depended on its own forces to determine who was military material, this time the Iraqis will decide.

What does Bondi mean that clerks now should “determine how to proceed”?

How well they have merited that Degree of Confidence is left to the impartial World to determine.

Its first appearance is not possible to determine and will probably remain unknown.

Twenty baskets of it were obtained by the said miners to assay and investigate its nature, and determine what it might be.

It was with great disapprobation that he heard Napoleon accept Caulaincourt's advice, and determine to advance to Moscow.

More generally the nature of the chattels conveyed determine largely the character of the description.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.