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verb de·ter \di-ˈtər, dē-\

: to cause (someone) to decide not to do something

: to prevent (something) from happening


Full Definition of DETER

transitive verb
:  to turn aside, discourage, or prevent from acting <she would not be deterred by threats>
:  inhibit <painting to deter rust>
de·ter·ment \-ˈtər-mənt\ noun
de·ter·ra·bil·i·ty \-ˌtər-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
de·ter·ra·ble \-ˈtər-ə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of DETER

  1. Some potential buyers will be deterred by the price.
  2. Painting the metal will deter rust.
  3. Rick Wagoner, CEO of General Motors, the automaker in most imminent danger of failure, gave lawmakers three reasons Chapter 11 isn't an option. First, the special financing that usually tides companies over through reorganization is so scarce right now that GM might not be able to get enough to keep functioning. Second, the stigma of bankruptcy would deter consumers from buying GM cars. Third, GM is already in the midst of a dramatic reorganization that will pave the way to a profitable future. —Justin Fox, Time, 1 Dec. 2008

Origin of DETER

Latin deterrēre, from de- + terrēre to frighten — more at terror
First Known Use: circa 1547

Related to DETER

DETERRED Defined for Kids


verb de·ter \di-ˈtər\

Definition of DETER for Kids

:  to cause (someone) not to do something <Nothing deters a good man from doing what is honorable. — Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time>
:  to prevent (something) from happening <Painting the metal will deter rust.>


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