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

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 So now the Heat have to decide whether Omer Yurtseven is a strength of their roster. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 24 June 2022 Deakins also said the county has to decide how to handle crowding at the jail. Tom Sissom, Arkansas Online, 22 June 2022 There is still work to do, and the agency has to decide whether another wet dress test is necessary. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 21 June 2022 The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Escobedo, who has yet to decide on a college and a sport to play, is grateful to have been chosen among the hundreds of great athletes in Arizona for the award. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 20 June 2022 The justices have yet to decide whether to review a separate challenge to the state’s ban on certain semiautomatic firearms. Ann E. Marimow And Shayna Jacobs, Anchorage Daily News, 19 June 2022 The citizens of Cincinnati, with no-frills Paul Brown Stadium (65,515), will soon have to decide whether to pony up the cash for something a bit more glitzy. Steven F. Sundich, The Enquirer, 17 June 2022 The city will have to decide how to spend the approximately 25% of the funds that remain unallocated — and a big question is how much will go to maintaining services in 2024. Alison Dirr, Journal Sentinel, 17 June 2022 The council last week had to decide whether to enter into a Chapter 380 agreement with Hill Country Studios. Annie Blanks, San Antonio Express-News, 15 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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Time Traveler for decide

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near decide



decide against

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Statistics for decide

Last Updated

27 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Decide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for decide


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

More from Merriam-Webster on decide

Nglish: Translation of decide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decide for Arabic Speakers


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