de·​ci·​sive | \ di-ˈsī-siv How to pronounce decisive (audio) \

Definition of decisive

1 : having the power or quality of deciding The council president cast the decisive vote. a decisive battle
2 : resolute, determined a decisive manner decisive leaders a decisive editor
3 : unmistakable, unquestionable a decisive superiority

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Other Words from decisive

decisively adverb
decisiveness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for decisive

conclusive, decisive, determinative, definitive mean bringing to an end. conclusive applies to reasoning or logical proof that puts an end to debate or questioning. conclusive evidence decisive may apply to something that ends a controversy, a contest, or any uncertainty. a decisive battle determinative adds an implication of giving a fixed character or direction. the determinative factor in the court's decision definitive applies to what is put forth as final and permanent. the definitive biography

Examples of decisive in a Sentence

You must be decisive and persistent to succeed in this competitive field. I stood there wondering what to do, but my sister was more decisive and immediately went to the phone. The fight ended with a decisive blow. the decisive battle of the war The poverty of his childhood played a decisive role in his adult life. The meeting is seen as a decisive step toward a peace treaty.
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Recent Examples on the Web Galassi’s catalogue essay discusses the notion of the shooting ratio — the number of tries a photographer had to attempt before capturing a decisive moment. Steven Litt, cleveland, "‘Proof’ at Cleveland Museum of Art celebrates lost art of the contact sheet in age of film roll photography," 9 Feb. 2020 These construction sites are a fine example of decisive Communist Party action. The Economist, "Chaguan China’s rulers see the coronavirus as a chance to tighten their grip," 8 Feb. 2020 After discovering a gift basket Orson left inside her home while her kids were sleeping, Kristen determinedly pulled out a climbing axe and seemed intent on taking decisive action. Chancellor Agard,, "Evil creators unpack Kristen's corruption in the finale: 'There's an optimism in the end'," 31 Jan. 2020 Don't expect China to be deterred after Taiwan's pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen secured her re-election in a decisive victory over pro-Beijing challenger Han Kuo-yu on Saturday despite China's efforts to sway the vote. TheWeek, "Taiwan's anti-Beijing election could result in a more forceful China," 13 Jan. 2020 People who score high in extraversion tend to admire energetic, decisive actions. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "These are the political ads Cambridge Analytica designed for you," 10 Jan. 2020 Texas Republicans praised President Donald Trump for taking decisive action last week to launch an airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Jamie Hancock, Dallas News, "Castro endorses Warren, 5 things to watch in 2020, McKinney’s rockin’ mayor," 7 Jan. 2020 Paul Volcker took decisive, forceful action against inflation and is rightfully remembered today for doing so. David Beckworth, National Review, "Paul Volcker’s Noble War on Inflation," 16 Dec. 2019 Bill Hare of Climate Analytics said this year was a sign that the loss of U.S. climate leadership under President Trump has affected other countries’ willingness to take decisive action. Jean Chemnick, Scientific American, "U.N. Climate Talks Limp to a Disappointing Close," 16 Dec. 2019

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

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First Known Use of decisive

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for decisive

Time Traveler

The first known use of decisive was in 1584

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Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decisive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for decisive


How to pronounce decisive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of decisive

: able to make choices quickly and confidently
: causing something to end in a particular way : determining what the result of something will be
: very clear and obvious


de·​ci·​sive | \ di-ˈsī-siv How to pronounce decisive (audio) \

Kids Definition of decisive

1 : causing something to end in a certain way The lawyer offered decisive proof.
2 : unmistakable, unquestionable a decisive victory
3 : firmly determined He began in a decisive manner.

Other Words from decisive

decisively adverb

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