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

The NHL will also now be analyzing clusters of positive test samples with whole genomic sequencing to determine specific coronavirus strains.

The preps-to-pros movement was shut down in 2005, after the league determined that getting a Kobe Bryant or LeBron James a little earlier wasn’t worth sending scouts to high school gymnasiums.

After determining the spoon’s maker and pattern, she typed that information into the Google “shopping” tab for a second search.

The new charges could carry a maximum sentence of nearly 30 years, more if it’s determined Keller’s actions resulted in any injuries.

Trying to determine which bid will maximize your campaign goals without blowing through your budget can be a tough balancing act.

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.


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More About Determine

What does determine mean?

Determine means to conclude, as after reasoning or observing, as in After considering all my options, I’ve determined which college I want to attend.

Generally, to determine something is to come to a conclusive decision from a place of authority on the subject.

Determine can also mean to cause or control, as in How much homework my teacher assigns will determine whether I can go to the game tonight.

Determine is also used to mean to give direction to, as a boss might determine what tasks their employees will do.

Example: I have determined that the cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Where does determine come from?

The first records of the term determine come from the 1300s. It ultimately comes from the Latin dētermināre, meaning “to mark out and fix boundaries.”

In legal terms, to determine something is to bring it to an end. The term is normally used at the end of a case or a lawsuit and implies the final conclusion of the conflict between parties. When the court determines something, it can rarely be disputed, except by going through the appeals process or opening a new case.

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What are some other forms related to determine

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What are some words that share a root or word element with determine

What are some words that often get used in discussing determine?

How is determine used in real life?

Determine is commonly used to talk about decisions being made.

Try using determine!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for determine

A. elect
B. ignore
C. fix
D. resolve

When To Use

What are other ways to say determine?

To determine is to conclude or ascertain something, as after reasoning or observation. How is determine different from resolve and decide? Learn more on

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.