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See more synonyms for decisive on Thesaurus.com
  1. having the power or quality of deciding; putting an end to controversy; crucial or most important: Your argument was the decisive one.
  2. characterized by or displaying no or little hesitation; resolute; determined: The general was known for his decisive manner.
  3. indisputable; definite: a decisive defeat.
  4. unsurpassable; commanding: a decisive lead in the voting.
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Origin of decisive

1605–15; < Medieval Latin dēcīsīvus, equivalent to Latin dēcīs(us) (see decision) + -īvus -ive
Related formsde·ci·sive·ly, adverbde·ci·sive·ness, nounnon·de·ci·sive, adjectivenon·de·ci·sive·ly, adverbnon·de·ci·sive·ness, nounpre·de·ci·sive, adjectivepre·de·ci·sive·ly, adverb


See more synonyms for decisive on Thesaurus.com
1. conclusive, final. 2. firm.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.


    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


  1. influential; conclusivea decisive argument
  2. characterized by the ability to make decisions, esp quickly; resolute
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Derived Formsdecisively, adverbdecisiveness, 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

Word Origin and History for decisive


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper