verb (used with object), de·ter·mined, de·ter·min·ing.

verb (used without object), de·ter·mined, de·ter·min·ing.

to come to a decision or resolution; decide.
Chiefly Law. to come to an end.

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··de·ter·mine, verb, re·de·ter·mined, re·de·ter·min·ing.un·de·ter·min·ing, adjective

Synonyms for determine

Synonym study

1. See decide. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for determining

Contemporary Examples of determining

Historical Examples of determining

  • That always had been his determining argument: that one must take risks.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • There was certainly some determining cause underlying all this which escaped her.

  • The beginner will have little difficulty in determining this genus.

  • Dr. Peterson says that the sunstroke was only the determining cause.

  • Who they were, we have no means of determining except from Plato's description of them.



British Dictionary definitions for determining



to settle or decide (an argument, question, etc) conclusively, as by referring to an authority
(tr) to ascertain or conclude, esp after observation or consideration
(tr) to shape or influence; give direction toexperience often determines ability
(tr) to fix in scope, extent, variety, etcthe river determined the edge of the property
to make or cause to make a decisionhe determined never to marry
(tr) logic to define or limit (a notion) by adding or requiring certain features or characteristics
(tr) geometry to fix or specify the position, form, or configuration oftwo points determine a line
mainly law to come or bring to an end, as an estate or interest in land
(tr) to decide (a legal action or dispute)

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 determining



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with determining


see bound and determined.

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