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 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

Synonyms for decisive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for decisive

Contemporary Examples of decisive

Historical Examples of decisive

  • 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



influential; conclusivea decisive argument
characterized by the ability to make decisions, esp quickly; resolute
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper