Also called: necessitarianismthe philosophical doctrine that all events including human actions and choices are fully determined by preceding events and states of affairs, and so that freedom of choice is illusoryCompare free will (def. 1b)
the scientific doctrine that all occurrences in nature take place in accordance with natural laws
the principle in classical mechanics that the values of dynamic variables of a system and of the forces acting on the system at a given time, completely determine the values of the variables at any later time
1846, in theology (lack of free will); 1876 in general sense of "doctrine that everything happens by a necessary causation," from French déterminisme, from German Determinismus, perhaps a back-formation from Praedeterminismus (see determine).