- The definition of determine is to set limits, make a decision or find out exactly.
- An example of determine is measuring a piece of fabric before cutting it to size.
- An example of determine is deciding to paint your house a certain color.
transitive verbdetermined, determining
- to set limits to; bound; define
- to settle (a dispute, question, etc.) conclusively; decide
- to reach a decision about after thought and investigation; decide upon
- to establish or affect the nature, kind, or quality of; fix: genes determine heredity
- to find out exactly; calculate precisely; ascertain: to determine a ship's position
- to give direction to; shape or affect
- Law to end; terminate
Origin of determineMiddle English determinen ; from Old French determiner ; from Classical Latin determinare, to bound, limit ; from de-, from + terminare, to set bounds ; from terminus, an end: see term
- to decide; resolve
- Law to come to an end
verbde·ter·mined, de·ter·min·ing, de·ter·mines
- a. To establish or ascertain definitely, as after consideration, investigation, or calculation: determined the easiest way to reach the summit. See Synonyms at discover.b. To give direction to by making decisions; devise or control: The school board determines educational policy.c. To decide or settle (a dispute, for example) conclusively and authoritatively. See Synonyms at decide.
- To cause (someone) to come to a decision or resolution: “It was the discovery &ellipsis; of this very project of hers, which determined him to come forward at once, own it all to his uncle” (Jane Austen).
- To be the cause of; bring about a result regarding: the genes that determine eye color.
- Mathematics To fix or define the position, form, or configuration of.
- Logic To explain or limit by adding differences.
- Archaic To put an end to legally; terminate under the law.
- To reach a decision; resolve: determined to become a better pilot; determined on a course of treatment.
- Archaic To come to an end through legal means.
Origin of determineMiddle English determinen, from Old French determiner, from Latin dētermināre, to limit : dē-, de- + terminus, boundary.
(third-person singular simple present determines, present participle determining, simple past and past participle determined)
- To set the limits of.
- To ascertain definitely; to figure out.
- To fix the form or character of; to shape; to prescribe imperatively; to regulate; to settle.
- To fix the course of; to impel and direct; with a remoter object preceded by to.
- Someone else's will determined me to this course.
- To bring to a conclusion, as a question or controversy; to settle authoritative or judicial sentence; to decide.
- The court has determined the cause.
- To resolve on; to have a fixed intention of; also, to cause to come to a conclusion or decision; to lead.
- The news of his father's illness determined him to depart immediately.
- (logic) To define or limit by adding a differentia.