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

to settle or decide in advance: He had predetermined his answer to the offer.
to ordain in advance; predestine: She believed that God had predetermined her sorrow.
to direct or impel; influence strongly: His sympathy for the poor predetermined his choice of a career.

Origin of predetermine

First recorded in 1615–25; pre- + determine
Related formspre·de·ter·mi·na·tion, nounpre·de·ter·mi·na·tive [pree-di-tur-muh-ney-tiv, -nuh-tiv] /ˌpri dɪˈtɜr məˌneɪ tɪv, -nə tɪv/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for predetermination

Historical Examples of predetermination

  • God's absolute decree and predetermination of all events, good or evil.

  • But the predetermination of the new Thomists is not perhaps exactly that which one needs.


    G. W. Leibniz

  • That is involved in prevision and predetermination, and forms the reason thereof.


    G. W. Leibniz

  • It heard with predetermination, and decided without evidence.

  • This is indeed shifting the argument; for if Gods knowledge makes an event certain, of course it is not his predetermination.

British Dictionary definitions for predetermination


verb (tr)

to determine beforehand
to influence or incline towards an opinion beforehand; bias
Derived Formspredetermination, nounpredeterminative, adjectivepredeterminer, 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

Word Origin and History for predetermination

1630s; see predetermine + -ation.



1620s, originally theological, from pre- + determine or else from Late Latin praedeterminare (Augustine). Related: Predetermined; predetermining; predeterminate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper