de·​cide | \ di-ˈsīd How to pronounce decide (audio) , dē- \
decided; deciding; decides

Definition of decide

transitive verb

1a : to make a final choice or judgment about decide what to do couldn't decide whether to take the job or not
b : to select as a course of action used with an infinitive decided to go
c : to infer on the basis of evidence : conclude They decided that he was right.
2 : to fix the course or outcome of (something) The Dodge teeters on the rear wheels, hanging there, as the hand of gravity decides my fate.— Larry Webster It is an imprecise science, but one that ultimately may decide the course of this and many seasons to come.— Steve Hummer especially : to bring to a definitive end one blow decided the fight
3 : to induce to come to a choice her pleas decided him to help

intransitive verb

: to make a choice or judgment decide on where to go

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from decide

decider \ di-​ˈsī-​dər How to pronounce decide (audio) , dē-​ \ noun, plural deciders

Choose the Right Synonym for decide

decide, determine, settle, rule, resolve mean to come or cause to come to a conclusion. decide implies previous consideration of a matter causing doubt, wavering, debate, or controversy. she decided to sell her house determine implies fixing the identity, character, scope, or direction of something. determined the cause of the problem settle implies a decision reached by someone with power to end all dispute or uncertainty. the dean's decision settled the campus alcohol policy rule implies a determination by judicial or administrative authority. the judge ruled that the evidence was inadmissible resolve implies an expressed or clear decision or determination to do or refrain from doing something. he resolved to quit smoking

Examples of decide in a Sentence

He decided that dinner would be at 7 o'clock, and asked guests to arrive at 6. She is having difficulty deciding about the offer. They decided that he was right. I am trying to decide if it's warm enough for swimming. “Do you think she is telling the truth?” “I'm not sure. I'm still trying to decide.” A few hundred votes could decide the election. One blow decided the fight. This battle could very well decide the war. Will the business be successful? Let the public decide. The case will be decided by the Supreme Court.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation will turn its findings over to the district attorney for the state's first prosecutorial district, who will decide on any possible criminal charges, authorities said. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, "7 deputies on leave as calls for release of bodycam grow after fatal shooting of Andrew Brown," 23 Apr. 2021 If Biden reinstates the monument, Leshy say the federal government may never decide the legality of Trump’s decision. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, "From the Gila River to Bears Ears, a renewed push to protect public lands in the Southwest," 22 Apr. 2021 After the investigation is complete, police will forward the case to county prosecutors who will decide if charges are warranted. oregonlive, "Identifications released in fatal shooting involving Vancouver newspaper carrier," 21 Apr. 2021 Being older than most who decide to start taking college classes was a bit daunting., "Q&A: Westminster resident Joseph Papi on what it’s like as a veteran to be pursuing a degree at Carroll Community College," 20 Apr. 2021 After years of trying to market the boarded up and decaying St. Thomas Aquinas High School, the city of New Britain may decide this spring to tear it down instead. Don Stacom,, "On New Britain’s East Side, abandoned Catholic high school could be demolished after 19 years of decay," 20 Apr. 2021 Unvaccinated people are still advised by the CDC to stay home, but those who decide to travel should do the following, according to the CDC: • Get tested for coronavirus one to three days beforehand. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Summer concerts are almost here, but will they be safe? What you should know," 19 Apr. 2021 Fans who decide to move their season tickets to 2022 would still retain season ticket holder tenure, status and seat locations with flat pricing. Jeff Day, Star Tribune, "Lynx will host fans at Target Center in 2021," 15 Apr. 2021 For people who do decide to laminate their cards, OfficeMax, Staples, and Office Depot will do so for free until May 1. Asia Ewart,, "Hooray, You’re Vaccinated! Now What Should You Do With Your Vaccine Card?," 12 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of decide

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for decide

Middle English, from Latin decidere, literally, to cut off, from de- + caedere to cut

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about decide

Time Traveler for decide

Time Traveler

The first known use of decide was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for decide

Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Decide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for decide



English Language Learners Definition of decide

: to make a choice about (something) : to choose (something) after thinking about it
: to choose whether or not to believe (something) after thinking about it : to reach a conclusion about (something) because of evidence
: to cause (something) to end in a particular way : to determine what the result of (something) will be


de·​cide | \ di-ˈsīd How to pronounce decide (audio) \
decided; deciding

Kids Definition of decide

1 : to make a judgment on The judge decided the case.
2 : to bring to an end in a particular way One vote could decide the election.
3 : to make a choice especially after careful thought We decided to go.


decided; deciding

Legal Definition of decide

transitive verb

: to determine (as a case or issue) by making a decision (as a final judgment) : adjudicate sense 1 — compare find, hold

intransitive verb

: to make a decision

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on decide

What made you want to look up decide? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!