- To deter is defined as to keep someone from completing an action by giving them fear or doubt.
An example of to deter is for a policeman to stop you to ask questions.
transitive verbde·terred, de·ter·ring, de·ters
- To prevent or discourage from acting, as by means of fear or doubt: threats that did not deter her from speaking out; skin chemicals that deter predators.
- To prevent or discourage (an action or behavior): installed surveillance cameras to deter vandalism.
- To make less likely or prevent from happening: protocols to deter infection.
Origin of deterLatin dēterrēre : dē-, de- + terrēre, to frighten.
(third-person singular simple present deters, present participle deterring, simple past and past participle deterred)