decisive

adjective
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 Unlike in that decisive Game 6 of the Finals on Oct. 11, when the Lakers left the NBA’s Disney quarantine bubble with the championship, the Heat this time walked away with the victory, with a 96-94 decision at Staples Center. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Heat produce meaningful moment with 96-94 victory over Lakers," 20 Feb. 2021 Another release from Philadelphia would prove decisive. New York Times, "He Wanted to Count Every Vote in Philadelphia. His Party Had Other Ideas.," 16 Dec. 2020 The Thursday morning news conference comes as Democratic nominee Joe Biden clings to an approximately 8,000-vote lead over Trump in Nevada, a battleground that could prove decisive to the outcome of the presidential race. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Trump campaign to sue in Nevada alleging illegally cast votes," 5 Nov. 2020 Wall Street famously loves certainty, which was decidedly absent on Wednesday as investors waited for key states to tally the votes that could prove decisive in Tuesday's presidential election. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "How Wall Street is sizing up the election," 4 Nov. 2020 Hours after the vandalism was discovered, Trump arrived at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, speaking before a crowd of thousands of supporters in the Michigan suburbs that could prove decisive in this year’s election. Washington Post, "‘Trump’ and ‘MAGA’ spray-painted on gravestones in Michigan Jewish cemetery," 3 Nov. 2020 If Texas ends up being razor-close, and Trump prevails, Trump’s chemistry with Hispanic males might prove decisive. Jonathan Tilove, USA TODAY, "Why Latinos will play a critical role in determining the election winner in Texas," 2 Nov. 2020 In a closely contested election riven by fear and hostility, the work done at the grassroots level could prove decisive in increasing turnout. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "How Latino Grassroots Organizers Are Fighting to Lift Biden in Florida," 1 Nov. 2020 That's an especially sensitive point in a state like Pennsylvania, which may prove decisive on Election Day. Ellen Knickmeyer And Kathleen Ronayne, Star Tribune, "Biden's warning on oil tests voter resolve on climate change," 23 Oct. 2020

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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Statistics for decisive

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Decisive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decisive. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for decisive

decisive

adjective

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

decisive

adjective
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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Comments on decisive

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