[ dih-tur-uhnt, -tuhr-, -ter- ]
/ dɪˈtɜr ənt, -ˈtʌr-, -ˈtɛr- /


serving or tending to deter.


something that deters: a deterrent to crime.
military strength or an ability to defend a country or retaliate strongly enough to deter an enemy from attacking.

Origin of deterrent

1820–30; < Latin dēterrent- (stem of dēterrēns), present participle of dēterrēre. See deter, -ent

Related forms

de·ter·rent·ly, adverbnon·de·ter·rent, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deterrent

British Dictionary definitions for deterrent


/ (dɪˈtɛrənt) /


something that deters
a weapon or combination of weapons, esp nuclear, held by one state, etc, to deter attack by another


tending or used to deter; restraining

Derived Forms

deterrence, noun

Word Origin for deterrent

C19: from Latin dēterrēns hindering; see deter
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