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  1. resolute; staunch: the determined defenders of the Alamo.
  2. decided; settled; resolved.
  3. Grammar. (of a phonetic feature) predictable from its surrounding context.
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Origin of determined

First recorded in 1490–1500; determine + -ed2
Related formsde·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

Synonyms for determined

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verb (used with object), de·ter·mined, de·ter·min·ing.
  1. to settle or decide (a dispute, question, etc.) by an authoritative or conclusive decision.
  2. to conclude or ascertain, as after reasoning, observation, etc.
  3. Geometry. to fix the position of.
  4. to cause, affect, or control; fix or decide causally: Demand for a product usually determines supply.
  5. to give direction or tendency to; impel.
  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.
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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.
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Origin of determine

1325–75; Middle English determinen < Anglo-French, Old French determiner < Latin dētermināre, equivalent to dē- de- + termināre to bound, limit; see terminate
Related formsin·ter·de·ter·mine, verb (used with object), in·ter·de·ter·mined, in·ter·de·ter·min·ing.qua·si-de·ter·mine, verb, qua·si-de·ter·mined, qua·si-de·ter·min·ing.re·de·ter·mine, verb, re·de·ter·mined, re·de·ter·min·ing.un·de·ter·min·ing, adjective

Synonyms for determine

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Synonym study

1. See decide.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for determined

tenacious, stubborn, dogged, steadfast, resolute, strong-willed, purposeful, serious, decisive, single-minded, resolved, firm, set, pat, bent, persevering, decided, obstinate, fixed, settled

Examples from the Web for determined

Contemporary Examples of determined

Historical Examples of determined

  • The boat he supposed to belong to Robert, and he was determined to spoil it.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • But he admired Hester, and the more she slighted him the more he was determined to force her to like him.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • He was ashamed, and determined to make amends by a frank confession.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Well, Shepler might be hurled from that certainty by one hour of determined action.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He felt that a crisis had come, and he was determined to be obeyed.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

British Dictionary definitions for determined


  1. of unwavering mind; resolute; firm
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Derived Formsdeterminedly, adverbdeterminedness, noun


  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 toexperience often determines ability
  4. (tr) to fix in scope, extent, variety, etcthe river determined the edge of the property
  5. to make or cause to make a decisionhe 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 oftwo points determine a line
  8. mainly 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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Word Origin for determine

C14: from Old French determiner, from Latin dētermināre to set boundaries to, from de- + termināre to limit; see terminate
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 determined


1560s, "decided," past participle adjective from determine. Meaning "limited" is from c.1600; that of "characterized by resolution" is from c.1600, of actions; 1772, of persons.

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mid-14c., "to come to an end," also "to settle, decide" (late 14c.), from Old French determiner (12c.) or directly from Latin determinare "to enclose, bound, set limits to," from de- "off" (see de-) + terminare "to mark the end or boundary," from terminus "end, limit" (see terminus). Sense of "coming to a firm decision" (to do something) is from mid-15c. Related: Determined; determining; determiner.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with determined


see bound and determined.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.