View synonyms for determinate


[ adjective dih-tur-muh-nit; verb dih-tur-muh-neyt ]


  1. having defined limits; definite.
  2. settled; positive.
  3. conclusive; final.
  4. Botany. (of an inflorescence) having the primary and each secondary axis ending in a flower or bud, thus preventing further elongation.
  5. Engineering.
    1. (of a structure) able to be analyzed completely by means of the principles of statics.
    2. (of a member of a structure) subject only to definite, known stresses.
    3. (of a stress) able to be determined through the principles of statics.

verb (used with object)

, de·ter·mi·nat·ed, de·ter·mi·nat·ing.
  1. to make certain of.
  2. to identify.


/ dɪˈtɜːmɪnɪt /


  1. definitely limited, defined, or fixed; distinct
  2. a less common word for determined
    1. able to be predicted or deduced
    2. (of an effect) obeying the law of causality
  3. botany (of an inflorescence) having the main and branch stems ending in flowers and unable to grow further; cymose
  4. (of a structure, stress, etc) able to be fully analysed or determined
“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


/ dĭ-tûrmə-nĭt /

  1. Precisely determined, limited, or defined.
  2. Not continuing to grow at an apical meristem. In the cyme, a determinate inflorescence, for example, the first floret develops at the end of the meristem, and no further elongation of the inflorescence can occur.

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Derived Forms

  • deˈterminateness, noun
  • deˈterminately, adverb
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Other Words From

  • de·termi·nate·ly adverb
  • de·termi·nate·ness noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of determinate1

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin dēterminātus, past participle of dētermināre. See determine, -ate 1
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Example Sentences

These are serious crimes that require the most serious of consequences, which is why a judge or jury sentences the individual to a lengthy determinate sentence, life imprisonment, or life imprisonment without parole.

Their error didn’t have to do with determinate attributes or some other fine philosophical point understood only by a few logicians.

We do not suffer affliction by chance, but by the determinate counsel and permission of God.

He must rather seek the absolute being by means of a determinate being, and the determinate being by means of an infinite being.

It is the recognition of the import within the practical judgment, of the given, of fact, in its determinate character.

For they imply the seeming paradox of a judgment whose proper subject-matter is its own determinate formation.

To judge value is to engage in instituting a determinate value where none is given.