• synonyms


[dih-tur-muh-ney-tiv, -nuh-tiv]
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  1. serving to determine; determining.
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  1. something that determines.
  2. a graphic symbol used in ideographic writing to denote a semantic class and written next to a word to indicate in what semantic category that word is to be understood, thus at times distinguishing homographs.
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Origin of determinative

1645–55; probably < Medieval Latin dēterminātīvus fixed, Late Latin: crucial (of a disease), equivalent to Latin dētermināt(us) (see determinate) + -īvus -ive
Related formsde·ter·mi·na·tive·ly, adverbde·ter·mi·na·tive·ness, nounnon·de·ter·mi·na·tive, adjective, nounnon·de·ter·mi·na·tive·ly, adverbnon·de·ter·mi·na·tive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for determinative

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British Dictionary definitions for determinative


  1. able to or serving to settle or determine; deciding
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  1. a factor, circumstance, etc, that settles or determines
  2. grammar a less common word for determiner
  3. (in a logographic writing system) a logogram that bears a separate meaning, from which compounds and inflected forms are built up
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Derived Formsdeterminatively, adverbdeterminativeness, 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 determinative


1650s, from French déterminatif (15c.), from Latin determinat-, past participle stem of determinare (see determine). As a noun from 1832.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper