[ dih-tur-mind ]
/ dɪˈtɜr mɪnd /
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resolute; staunch: the determined defenders of the Alamo.
decided; settled; resolved.
Grammar. (of a phonetic feature) predictable from its surrounding context.
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Origin of determined

First recorded in 1490–1500; determine + -ed2


de·ter·mined·ly [dih-tur-mind-lee, -muh-nid-lee], /dɪˈtɜr mɪnd li, -mə nɪd li/, adverbde·ter·mined·ness, nounpost·de·ter·mined, adjectiveun·de·ter·mined, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does determined mean?

Determined means firmly set in one’s decision or course of action, especially with the aim of achieving a particular goal.

Someone who’s determined to do something is extremely motivated and unlikely to quit or change their mind. Someone who’s determined in general has a very strong desire to achieve their goals.

Someone who’s determined in this way is said to be showing determination—the quality of being firm in one’s purpose.

Determined is also the past tense form of the verb determine, meaning to decide or settle in an authoritative way or conclude after observation. The term undetermined uses this sense of the word. Something that’s undetermined has not been conclusively decided or settled. (It’s not used to describe someone who’s not particularly motivated.)

Example: I am absolutely determined to finish this race, even if I have to crawl across the finish line.

Where does determined come from?

The first records of the word determined as an adjective come from around 1500. The adjective comes from the past tense form of the verb determine.

When something has been determined, this often means that it has been decided or settled in some final or permanent way. When someone is determined, it usually means that they have made a decision to do something—they’ve made up their mind and they can’t be talked out of it. Someone described as determined pursues their goals with dogged persistence. When a task requires hard work, sacrifice, and dedication, it calls for a determined person to achieve it.

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What are some other forms of determined?

  • determinedly (adverb)
  • determinedness (noun)

What are some synonyms for determined?

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


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

How is determined used in real life?

The word determined is typically used in a positive way to describe someone as sticking to their goals through hard work.



Try using determined!

Which of the following words could be used to describe someone who is determined?

A. stubborn
B. persistent
C. tenacious
D. all of the above

How to use determined in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for determined

/ (dɪˈtɜːmɪnd) /

of unwavering mind; resolute; firm

Derived forms of determined

determinedly, adverbdeterminedness, 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